SAN JUAN, P.R. (Dec. 20) -- For the second time this season, the University of Arizona women's basketball team (8-2) set a new school record for margin of victory, as it defeated Puerto Rico-Mayaguez (2-7), 105-41, in the San Juan Shootout on December 20. The 64-point win surpassed the previous school record of 56 points, set only 12 days ago during a 99-43 victory over Bowling Green on Dec. 8.
Arizona opened the contest with a 13-5 run, but UPR-Mayaguez managed to hang with the Cats and was down only 10 points (23-13) with nine minutes remaining in the first half. Then the Wildcats exploded for a 26-7 run, bolstered by junior center LaKeisha Taylor, who had 12 first-half points. The UA took a 49-20 edge into halftime.
The second half got uglier, as Arizona opened the period with a 24-4 run,
putting the game out of reach for good by gaining a 75-24 lead with 12 minutes
remaining in the contest. The Wildcats hit the 80-point mark at 9:56 and
ended the contest with a 23-8 spurt to garner the final margin of 64 points.
With career highs of 18 points and 11 rebounds, Taylor had the game highs in both categories and garnered her first career double-double. Freshman guard Aimee Grzyb tied her season high with 15 points, while fellow freshman Candice Allen notched a season-high 15 points off the bench. Guards Reshea Bristol and Tysell Bozeman contributed 14 points apiece, and junior forward Elizabeth Pickney nabbed a 13-point, 10-rebound double-double.
"This game was a great opportunity for everyone to get in some significant playing time. We were really able to stagger the minutes," said head coach Joan Bonvicini. "Everyone played unselfish, good basketball. Now we just need to save our legs for tomorrow [against Nebraska]."
The 105 points ties the second-highest point total ever by a Bonvicini-coached team at Arizona. That total was last reached in a 105-50 defeat of Sacramento State on Dec. 17, 1994. The 41 points scored by the Bulldogs is the best defensive effort since the Cats allowed Cal Poly-SLO to score only 39 on Jan. 9, 1996, in Tucson. The Cats also out-rebounded the Bulldogs by 24 (46-22), the best rebounding margin since the UA out-rebounded Sacramento State by 31 (59-28) during that Dec. 17, 1994 game.
The Wildcats remain in Puerto Rico for their final contest in the San Juan Shootout against Nebraska on Thursday, Dec. 21, at 9 p.m. AST (6 p.m. Tucson time).