Dec. 28, 2010
TUCSON - University of Arizona Wildcat women's basketball moved to 9-2 on the season with a 79-32 thrashing of Iona College Tuesday night at McKale. The Wildcats have won four-straight games and five of their last six contests to generate momentum for the start of Pac-10 play later this week. Iona fell to 4-7 on the season.
"It was nice getting the win today," head coach Niya Butts said. "Obviously we got an opportunity to rest some of our starters which I think it a good plan especially with Oregon on Friday. If any of you were here last time with Oregon, it's going to be a track meet and we need to be prepared to get up and down the floor. I thought everyone got quality minutes today. We did some good things and some things we would like to do better but overall it was a good team win for us."
"This was our goal, to be at least 9-2," sophomore guard Davellyn Whyte said. "We're really satisfied with accomplishing what we wanted to. We feel like we could have been 10-1 but 9-2 is pretty good and we have a lot of momentum going into Pac-10 play so we're feeling pretty good."
For the first time since the 2004-05 season, Arizona is 9-2 to start the season. In tonight's 79-32 win over Iona, all 10 'Cats that played scored at least two points and grabbed at least three rebounds
"Everyone played, everyone scored and everyone contributed," senior forward Ify Ibekwe said. "There's not going to be one game where me and Davellyn (Whyte) go off and no one else does anything. I think we have a team that has good shooters and post players. I think this was a good game and we had a balanced effort from both the first string and the second string players."
Four Wildcats scored in double digits in Tuesday's win over the Gaels: Ibekwe 14, senior forward Soana Lucet 11, Whyte 11 and freshman forward Erica Barnes 10. Junior guard Shanita Arnold also dished out nine assists, matching her career best.
Kristina Ford was Iona's leading scorer with nine points. Milica Paligoric led at the glass with eight rebounds. Poor shooting hurt Iona early and continued on throughout the game with 16.7 percent (5-30) in the first half, 22.9 percent (8-35) in the second half and 20.0 percent (13-65) overall. Arizona also out-rebounded the Gaels, 56-40, and put forth a solid assist-turnover ratio of 19-16.
Arnold, Ibekwe, junior guard Brooke Jackson, Soana Lucet and Whyte got the start for Arizona against the Gaels. Freshman Candice Warthen logged the most minutes off the bench with 24. She chipped in with seven points and three rebounds.
Arizona will open up Pac-10 play with a 3 p.m. contest against Oregon on Fri., Dec. 31 at McKale Center.
Niya Butts postgame Iona.