May 22, 2001
San Bonifacio, Italy -- With yet another strong showing from its post players, the University of Arizona women's basketball team defeated the San Bonifacio Pakelo club team, 84-70, in San Bonifacio, Italy, on Tuesday.
The Cats struggled a bit through the first two quarters, leading by only one point (37-36) at halftime. Freshman guard Aimee Grzyb scored 12 of her 16 points during the first half, including a trio of three-pointers, to keep the Wildcats in the game.
The second half belonged to the UA posts, though, as freshman Veranda James and junior Elizabeth Pickney combined for 28 points during the period to give the Cats a solid win. Up just one point at halftime, the Wildcats opened the third quarter with a 13-3 run that pushed their lead out to 11 (50-39).
San Bonifacio never gave up and managed to scrap back to within six points
(61-55) at the end of the third quarter. Arizona still had only a
six-point lead with 5:49 remaining in the game, then finished the contest
with a 14-6 run to put the game out of reach.
Pickney led all scorers with 25 points, while James had her second straight double-double of the tour with 22 points and a game-high 14 rebounds to go with four steals. Grzyb contributed five rebounds and three assists to go with her 16 points, and junior center LaKeisha Taylor added eight points and nine rebounds.
Freshman guard Candice Allen had eight points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals. Junior guard Julie Brase tallied six assists, five points and three rebounds.
"This is the first game so far that has tested us. We played an excellent second half, although I could tell we were tired," said head coach Joan Bonvicini."Our post game really came out in the second half, and we just dominated on the boards. We did an excellent job in transition and reading their defense. We are travelling so much on this tour, we need to remember to be mentally and physically ready. These games are only going to get tougher."
"They played excellent defense, so I just had to come out and play extra aggressive," said Pickney. "This game was much tougher than the last one, and we had to put together a greater defensive effort and execute our plays."
The Wildcats spent all day Monday touring the sights of Venice in a drenching downpour, and on Tuesday, they stopped in Verona on their way to their next destination of Como. On Wednesday, the group will be visiting Bellagio, which is considered the most beautiful city in Italy and also known as the best ice cream (gelato) spot in the country. Thursday will see the team take an excursion to Milan that will include a viewing of the Last Supper painting and a tour of Piazza del Duomo.
The Cats play again on Thursday, May 24, against the Alessandria (a suburb of Milan) club team at 8:45 p.m.