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Cats Bounced by Cardinal, 72-52
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 03/12/2010
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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March 12, 2010

 

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LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Eighth-seeded Arizona had its 2009-10 season come to a close after suffering a 72-52 defeat to #1-seeded Stanford, Friday afternoon in the quarterfinal round of the 2010 State Farm Pac-10 Women's Basketball Tournament at the Galen Center.

The Wildcats complete the campaign with a 14-17 record, marking a two-win improvement in the second season for head coach Niya Butts and the most wins since the 2004-05 team posted a 20-12 mark.

An undersized Arizona team gave a valiant effort, holding the league champions to a 38.7 percent shooting clip, but weren't able to overcome shooting just 18-of-58 from the field on their own end of the floor, a .310 clip. The Cardinal also converted 17-of-20 free throws and claimed a 45-36 rebounding advantage.

The Wildcats had few answers for 2010 Pac-10 Player of the Year Nnemkadi Ogwumike, who finished with a game-high 25 points while adding 10 rebounds. Jeanette Pohlen hit five 3-pointers to account for her 15 points while Kayla Pedersen tallied 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Arizona started the game 3-for-15 from the field and fell behind 16-7 at the 10:34 point of the opening stanza. The Wildcats held the Cardinal to a 4-of-14 start, but Arizona committed six turnovers while Ogwumike hit all six of her free throw attempts in that span.

Ify Ibekwe nearly single-handedly got the Wildcats back into the game with three-straight buckets to draw within three at the 7:46 mark.

Arizona trailed 41-31 early with 15:19 before forcing the hand of Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer with a 9-2 run. The final bucket of the scoring spurt, a 3-pointer in the left corner by Brooke Jackson, brought all-American Jayne Appel into the game for the first time after sitting out with a sore ankle.

The Cardinal responded to her presence with improved play on both ends of the floor to pull away. Kayla Pedersen and Jeanette Pohlen hit back-to-back three-pointers, then JJ Hones connected on a short jumper for a 8-0 run that pushed the Stanford advantage back to double-digits.

Arizona answered with two free throws by Reiko Thomas and a bucket by Davellyn Whyte to close within seven, but would get no closer as Appel and Ogwumike combined for the next 14 Cardinal points to take a 64-49 lead with 3:01 to play.

Ibekwe finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds for Arizona. Her first rebound of the game set an Arizona single-season record, breaking the previous mark of 339 set by Shawntinice Polk in the 2003-04 campaign. Ibekwe finished the season with 352 rebounds, pushing her career total to 880 and only 41 rebounds shy of the career mark of 921 held by Adia Barnes.

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