TUCSON - The University of Arizona Wildcat women's basketball team moved to 8-1 on the season with Sunday's 66-42 win over Long Beach State at McKale Center. Despite shooting just 38 percent from the field, Arizona was able to overcome by pulling down 18 offensive and 33 defensive rebounds.
"We won, so I'm happy," head coach Niya Butts said. "I think it's important that we got a win before finals week. Our flow on both offense and defense wasn't good. We weren't patient on offense, and Davellyn Whyte couldn't get it going at all. We had 22 turnovers and I think it just got worse as the game went on. Our two post players stepped up and both had double-doubles, and that's always good."
Freshman center Aley Rohde led all scorers with 21 points on 8-of-12 from the field, 1-of-2 from three-point range and 4-of-6 from the charity stripe. She collected her first collegiate double-double by grabbing 13 rebounds. Both numbers are a career high. She also blocked four shots and had one steal in 30 minutes of play.
"The thing about Aley Rohde is that she made her lay-ups today," Butts said. "With her, we're focusing on finishing when she gets the ball underneath. As a team, we tend to leave about 20 points on the board per game, and a lot of that comes from not being able to finish under the basket. If Aley makes her lay-ups, it will be a whole different ball game. Once she gets confident in doing that, then she'll be able to become more confident in other areas. There's no doubt that she can rebound but we're trying to get her to rebound outside her area. We need her to keep her hands up and get better at predicting where the ball is going to go."
Sophomore forward Erica Barnes had her fourth double-double of the season, scoring 13 points and grabbing 12 boards. In her longest outing of the season, senior guard Reiko Thomas had a double-digit outing with 10 points. She also collected seven rebounds, four steals and two assists. Senior guard Shanita Arnold had eight points, five assists, three rebounds and two steals in her 38 minutes of action.
Arizona shot 37.9 percent from the field (22-58), 20.0 percent from behind the arc (4-20) and 72.0 percent from the charity stripe (18-25). The Cats had 18 offensive boards and 33 defensive for a total of 51. UA gave out 12 assists on 22 field goals but gave up 22 turnovers.
Junior guard Lindsey Fearing earned her first Division I start on Sunday and was joined by Arnold, Barnes, Rohde and junior guard Davellyn Whyte. Thomas had the most minutes off the bench with 26.
For the 49ers, Tipesa Moorer was the leading scorer with 14 points in 34 minutes of action. LBSU shot 29.8 percent from the field (17-57), 14.3 percent from three-point range (2-14) and 66.7 percent from the free throw line (6-9). Long Beach State had a 2-22 assist to turnover ratio and managed just 30 rebounds.
The Wildcats return to the road to face the Lions of Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Sun., Dec. 18.