CORVALLIS, Ore. ?- Despite a heroic comeback effort, the Arizona women’s basketball team fell 91-83 at Gill Coliseum tonight. With the loss, the Wildcats fall to 7-18 overall and 3-12 in the Pac-10. It was the first time since the 2001-02 season that Arizona lost the season series with Oregon State.
Arizona shot 41 percent from the field. 43 percent from three-point range and 67 percent from the free throw line on the game, compared to the 56, 42 and 82 percent, respectively, of Oregon State. The Beavers also out-rebounded the Wildcats 38 to 32. Arizona forced OSU into 22 turnovers while committing 16.
“After being down by 30, we finally decided to play with heart,” Head Coach Joan Bonvicini said. “We obviously could have laid down, but Kelsey, Joy and Natalie all started scoring. Ashley played great defense. If the match-ups stay the same, we’ll face this team again in the Pac-10 Tournament and we’ll be ready.”
Junior Joy Hollingsworth led Arizona with a season-high 24 points. Freshman Kelsey Burns was one rebound shy of a double-double, posting career-highs of 19 points and nine boards. Senior Natalie Jones and sophomore Ashley Whisonant added 18 and 16 points, respectively. Jones also pulled down nine rebounds.
The game started out slow, with neither team scoring a field goal until more than five minutes had ticked off the clock. The Wildcats trailed by as many as five, but tied the game at nine at the 10:45 mark. Oregon State then rattled off five straight points to take a 14-9 lead and later led by as many as seven (19-12). Jones scored five straight points to make it a two-point game, 22-20, but the Beavers then closed out the half with an 8-0 run to take their biggest lead of the game, 30-20.
Arizona shot just 25 percent from the field, 25 percent from downtown and 57 percent from the free throw line on the half. Oregon State connected on 48 percent from the field, 33 percent from beyond the arc and 100 percent from the free throw line on the half. The Beavers also out-rebounded the Wildcats 19 to 17. Arizona had 11 turnovers on the half. Oregon State had 12 miscues. Jones and Hollingsworth each scored seven points to lead the Wildcats. Jones also pulled down a team-high six boards.
Oregon State opened the second half on a 22-4 run to take a 28-point lead (52-24), seemingly putting the game was out of reach for the Wildcats. In a valiant comeback, Arizona battled back and was able to cut it to six points, but ran out of time, losing 91-83.
Arizona hosts California for a 7 p.m. game next Thursday, Feb. 16, at McKale Center.