Nov. 22, 2010
TUCSON - Propelled by five players scoring in double digits, the University of Arizona Wildcat women's basketball team (4-0, 0-0 Pac-10) extended its winning streak to four games with a 93-54 victory over the Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions (0-3, 0-0 SWAC) on Monday at McKale Center.
For the first time since the 1999-2000 season, the Wildcats have opened the season with four-straight victories. Today's game also hosted the Madness at McKale Field Trip with 2,500+ kids in attendance for a grand total of 3,515.
"I'm happy with the win," head coach Niya Butts said. "We played about thirty minutes of solid basketball but we haven't put together a complete forty minutes yet. We shared the ball well, 30 assists off 37 shots is what I like to see. In the first half we were rebounding machines but in the second we gave up fourteen offensive rebounds. We need to get better on that going into Cancun. We can't just go through the motions."
Freshman Candice Warthen led the Wildcat scorers with a season-high 15 points. Sophomore Davellyn Whyte (14), junior Brooke Jackson (13), senior Soana Lucet (13) and senior Ify Ibekwe also scored in double digits for Arizona. Of the 10 Wildcats who saw game action, all scored at least three points.
"We came in today with enough energy to do what we needed to do," Butts said. "I worried that we would have trouble sustaining for forty minutes. There were some combinations out there in the second half that really responded well. Like I always say, basketball is a game of runs. No lead is safe, as we've shown by coming back from two double digit deficits to win in both our road matches."
The Wildcats also put together a balanced front at the glass with Ibekwe (9), junior Taylor Dalrymple (7), Lucet (6) and freshman Erica Barnes (6) leading the way. Arizona has out-rebounded all four of its opponents this season, today 48-32 against the Golden Lions.
"I think we fed off the kids' energy," junior Brooke Jackson said. "We pushed the ball well and did what we wanted to do today. Last game we didn't push the ball well but I'm happy with how things went today. We aim to defend our home court, and that's the mentality we have going into each game, to focus on Arizona basketball."
Jasmine Abrams led Arkansas-Pine Bluff with 19 points and seven rebounds. Laquisha Slaton chipped in with 16 points.
The Wildcats will play next at the Cancun Thanksgiving Classic, facing No. 8/8 Texas A&M on Friday and Bradley on Saturday.