Three Wildcats scored in double digits, but Arizona women’s basketball (11-7, 3-4) fell to No. 19 UCLA (14-4, 5-2) on Friday at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, Calif.
Junior Kama Griffitts (Coeur d’Alene, Idaho) led all players with 22 points, her second-highest total of the season. Griffitts also had seven rebounds.
SeniorDavellyn Whyte(Phoenix, Ariz.) posted her fourth double-double of the season with 17 points and 12 rebounds, while juniorErica Barnes(Sacramento, Calif.) added 12 points for the Wildcats.
As a team, Arizona went to the charity stripe 24 times to UCLA’s 10 and forced 16 Bruin turnovers.
In the first half, UCLA took an early lead behind freshman Kari Korver’s 11 points, The Bruins went on a 14-0 run and led by as much as 11, but Arizona went on a 9-0 run of its own. Griffitts, Barnes and Whyte were 7-of-8 from the free throw line in the final three minutes of the half, Whyte hit a three at the buzzer and UCLA led, 35-33 going into the locker rooms.
The Bruins came out strong in the first half on a 5-0 run to extend their lead to nine points, but the Wildcats answered with eight points from Griffitts and narrowed the score to within three. UCLA held strong, took its largest lead of the game with 3:23 remaining and finished the game, 73-57.
“We played pretty decent in the first half—at times we made mistakes, but we finished the half strong,” Arizona head coach Niya Butts said. “. It was the second half that did us in—I don’t think we had any toughness down the stretch. They kept pounding the ball inside and making plays and we didn’t take advantage of our opportunities.”
Junior Atonye Nyingifa led the Bruins with 20 points and 12 rebounds.
The Wildcats will stay in Los Angeles and take on USC on Sunday, Jan. 27 at 2 p.m. PT.