TUCSON, Ariz. ?- The Red Team, comprised of Arizona women’s basketball players, fell in double overtime to the Blue Team, made up of male practice players and walk-on Jessie Robinson, 85-80, in the team’s first action of the year at McKale Center tonight.
“Considering the start, it was tough,” Head Coach Joan Bonvicini said. “What happened before the game carried over into the game. We needed to play through it and play tough. I know that things are hard but we have to play through it.”
The Red Team shot 35 percent from the field, 24 percent from three-point range and 71 percent from the free throw line on the game, compared to the 55, 10 and 80 percent, respectively, of the Blue Team. However, they out-rebounded the Blue Team 46-36 and forced 30 Blue turnovers.
Senior Natalie Jones led the Red Team with 18 points, followed by sophomore Ashley Whisonant with 16 points and seven rebounds. Sophomore Ch?© Oh tallied a double-double ?- 13 points and 12 rebounds, nine of which were offensive. Junior Joy Hollingsworth finished with 13 points on the night.
The Blue Team jumped out to a 16-2 lead, but the Red Team battled back, making it a six-point game (18-12) with 6:30 left in the half. The Blue Team later built its lead back to 10, but a Jones three as time expired sent the Red Team into the locker room down by seven, 30-23.
The Red Team shot 28 percent on the half, compared to the 54 percent of the Blue Team. But the women out-rebounded the Blue Team 20-17. Jones led the Red Team with eight points, followed by Whisonant with six.
The Blue Team quickly went up by 11 (36-25) in the second half before the Red Team used a 17-5 run to take a 42-41 lead, its first of the game. The Blue Team responded with eight straight points to go up 49-42. The Red Team later made it a tied game (49-49) on a Hollingsworth three pointer. Both teams then battled back and forth before a pair of Jones free throws with two seconds remaining tied the game and sent it into overtime.
In the first overtime, Hollingsworth quickly drained a three and a subsequent Oh free throw gave the Red Team a 67-63 lead. A Jones trey and a pair of free throws gave the Red Team a seven-point lead, but the Blue Team came back to tie it on a pair of free throws with two seconds remaining.
In the second overtime, the Red Team scored the first point on a Jessica Arnold free throw, but the Blue Team dominated the rest of the period and went on to the 85-80 win.
Arizona has its first exhibition game of the season at 2 p.m. next Sunday, Nov. 6, against Cal Poly Pomona.