Nov. 5, 2009
TUCSON, Ariz. - A new era of Arizona women's basketball began on Thursday evening as the Wildcats downed NCAA Division II Fort Lewis (Colo.), 75-60, in exhibition play at McKale Center.
With five new players and redshirt sophomore Tasha Dickey joining just four players back from the 2008-09 campaign, Arizona jumped out to an early 10-0 lead before putting the game away in the second half with a 22-2 spurt.
The Wildcats brought energy and enthusiasm to the opening minutes as they scored the first 10 points of the game. Sophomore guard Brooke Jackson nailed a three in the corner on the first possession, then Ashley Frazier scored in transition. After another three, this time by junior forward Soana Lucet, Jackson drove the lane to force a quick timeout by the shellshocked visitors.
To their credit, Fort Lewis calmed down and outplayed the Cats for the majority of the first half. A potent inside-outside game was complemented by a 2-2-1 full court press that helped force a number of Arizona's 13 first half turnovers.
A two-point halftime deficit for the Wildcats grew to six with 14:20 to play after the Skyhawks' Lauren McCulloch hit a three-pointer. However, the Cats allowed just two points over the next 9:19 to reclaim the advantage.
All-American Ify Ibekwe scored in the paint while Jackson followed with a pair of buckets in the paint. Four other players also scored during the stretch as all but two points were tallied in the lane. The lead stretched as high as 19 in the dying moments as both Jackson and freshman Davellyn Whyte hit three-pointers before a trio of late free throws and short jumper by Dana Schreibvogel ended the scoring.
Arizona held just a 48-44 rebounding edge, but scored 56 of its 75 points in the paint and had 14 fast break points to just four for the Skyhawks. The Wildcats also limited their turnover count to just seven in the second half while forcing 11 to gain a 23-20 edge for the game.
Jackson had 10 of her game-high 17 points in the second half while also pulling down 11 boards and dishing out a pair of assists in 35 minutes of play. Ibekwe finished with 11 points and a game-high 14 rebounds while adding three assists, four steals and three blocked shots. Lucet tossed in 15 points, Frazier had 12 points and six assists while Whyte scored 10 points and grabbed 5 rebounds.
Allison Rosel led Fort Lewis with 13 points and 7 rebounds while Laura Haugen scored 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting.
Arizona plays its final exhbition game this Sunday, November 8 when in-state foe Grand Canyon comes to McKale Center at 1:00 p.m.
Coach Niya Butts talks about halftime adjustments