LOS ANGELES ?- After knocking on the door throughout the game, the Arizona women’s basketball team lost a heartbreaker, 84-77, to UCLA at Pauley Pavilion tonight. With the loss, the Wildcats fall to 5-9 overall and 1-3 in the Pac-10.
Arizona shot 48 percent from the field, 50 percent from three-point range and 57 percent from the free throw line on the game. Arizona hit a season-high 10 treys on the game. UCLA connected on 52 percent from the field, 25 percent from beyond the arc and 60 percent from the charity stripe on the game. The Wildcats out-rebounded the Bruins 41 to 31, but committed 22 turnovers to UCLA’s 10.
“We played with a great deal of energy and enthusiasm,” Head Coach Joan Bonvicini said. “We were significantly improved. We just need to clean up a few things. We need to take care of the ball and hit our free throws.”
Junior Joy Hollingsworth scored a season-high 22 points to lead all scorers. She also pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds. Senior Natalie Jones added 14 points, while sophomore Jessica Arnold finished with a season-high 12 points. Freshman Whitney Fields pulled down nine boards.
After a tie at four, UCLA went on an 11-4 run to take a 15-8 lead. The Wildcats answered with a 10-2 run to take a one-point (18-17) lead. Arizona was later up 21-19 when the Bruins went on a 12-0 run to go up 31-21. The Wildcats cut it to six (33-27), but UCLA scored five in a row to take its biggest lead of the game, 38-27. Arizona went into the locker room at halftime down 41-31.
Arizona shot 53 percent from the field, 20 percent from downtown and 44 percent from the free throw line on the half. UCLA hit 52 percent from the field, 33 percent from beyond the arc and 70 percent from the charity stripe on the half. The Wildcats out-rebounded the Bruins 18 to 13, but committed 14 turnovers to UCLA’s four. Arnold led Arizona with 10 points. Hollingsworth added seven points and a team-high five rebounds.
After the Bruins scored the first basket of the second half, Arizona scored nine in a row to make it a three-point game, 43-40. After a UCLA time out, the Bruins went on a 4-0 run to extend their lead back to seven. Hollingsworth kept Arizona in it by draining a pair of treys in less than two minutes. A Malia O'Neal three at the 12:35 mark made it a one-point game (52-51).
UCLA scored five in a row to extend its lead back to six, but Arizona cut it to three on an Anna Chappell three-pointer. Both teams then traded several baskets before the Bruins scored four in a row to go up 67-60. A pair of Jones treys made it a one-point game (67-66). UCLA extended its lead back to five and later to six, but Arizona wouldn’t die. A Hollingsworth long ball with 2:56 left in the game made it a three-point game, 76-73.
Arizona later had a chance to make it a two-point game, but Oh missed both free throws. The Bruins scored on their next possession to take an 81-75 lead. The Wildcats cut it to four (81-77), but that was as close as they would get, as UCLA went on to the seven-point win.
Arizona faces USC at noon (PST) this Sunday, Jan. 8. The game will be televised live to a national audience on FSN.