LOS ANGELES ?- The Arizona women’s basketball team got its first win over a ranked team this season and Head Coach Joan Bonvicini earned her 250th win at Arizona, as the Wildcats defeated No. 19 UCLA 84-73 in front of 2,893 fans at Pauley Pavilion this afternoon. With the win, the Wildcats improve to 12-5 overall and 4-3 in Pac-10 play.
Arizona shot a blazing 54 percent from the field, 47 percent from three-point range and 66 percent from the free throw line on the game. The Bruins connected on 39 percent from the field, 30 percent from downtown and 58 percent from the line. The Wildcats also out-rebounded UCLA 42 to 38.
“I’m very proud of this team ?- it was definitely a team effort,” Bonvicini said. “We played with passion, fire and heart. This was a huge win for us, especially after a disappointing loss at USC on Friday. Now we return home for a long home stand so we can start a new streak.”
Senior Dee-Dee Wheeler finished with 19 points, a career-high 11 assists and seven rebounds. Freshman Ashley Whisonant had a career-high 17 points, while junior Shawntinice Polk notched her 42nd career double-double and fifth this season with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Senior Katrina Lindner rounded out the group of double-digit scorers with a career-high-tying 11 points.
After a close start to the game, with three ties, Arizona used an 8-0 run to take a 24-16 lead. The Bruins answered with four straight to make it a four-point game. A Lindner three-pointer with 1:54 left pushed the Wildcat lead back to eight, but UCLA closed out the half with a 4-0 run for a 32-28 halftime score.
Arizona shot 46 percent from the field, 40 percent from downtown and 40 percent from the free throw line on the half. Meanwhile, the UCLA connected on 46 percent from the field, 50 percent from beyond the arc and 67 percent from the charity stripe. The Wildcats out-rebounded the Bruins 21 to 11. Wheeler led all players with 13 points and four assists. Polk and Adefeso grabbed four boards apiece to pace Arizona.
The Wildcats opened the second half on fire, outscoring UCLA 18-4 take a 21-point lead, 44-29. Arizona led by as many as 23 (62-39), but the Bruins went on a 15-4 run to cut the lead to 12, 66-54. Both teams then traded baskets before UCLA scored six in a row to make it a nine-point game. The Bruins later cut it to seven, but that was as close as they would get, as Arizona went on to win 84-73.
Arizona hosts Oregon for a 7 p.m. game this Thursday, Jan. 20, at McKale Center.