Cats Close 2009 With Win, 86-50
Dec. 29, 2009
TUCSON, Ariz. - Arizona snapped a three-game losing streak and capped off 2009 with a 86-50 non-conference win over Alabama A&M, Tuesday evening in McKale Center.
Arizona shot a season-high 63.5 percent (33-of-52) from the field, amassing 46 points in the paint while also igniting its transition game to the tune of 18 points. The defense limited the Bulldogs to just 17-of-64 shooting (.266) and forced 19 turnovers.
Freshman guard Davellyn Whyte posted her second-straight 20-plus point effort, tallying a game-high 21 points as she hit on a career-high five three-pointers.
Sophomore guard Reiko Thomas led a bench effort that tallied 25 points as she contributed 13 points to go along with 7 rebounds and 7 assists against just one turnover while running the Arizona offense for much of the second half.
Arizona jumped out to an early 15-5 lead behind the first two treys by Whyte before Alabama A&M edged its way back to 17-13 at the 11:24 mark behind a pair of field goals and two free throws by Whiquitta Tobar.
The Cats stretched the lead to 13 twice prior to intermission before settling for a 36-26 cushion at the break as Whyte had 11 points and Brooke Jackson tossed in 10 points.
Katrich Williams found her shooting touch early on in the second half, allowing the Bulldogs to close within 38-34 early on after hitting a pair of three-pointers inside the first two minutes. The next 6:34, however, saw the Wildcats take control of the game for good.
Whyte scored the next eight Arizona points, again hitting two three-pointers around a pair of free throws to spark a 20-2 run. Whyte assisted on the final bucket, a fastbreak lay-up by Ify Ibekwe, giving the Cats a 58-36 advantage with 11:44 to play.
A three-pointer by Jackson with 2:51 left stretched the lead to a game-high 39 points as the Cats outscored the Bulldogs, 42-9, holding the visitors without a field goal for almost 10 minutes.
Soana Lucet tallied her second-straight double-double, finishing with 15 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, hitting 6-of-9 field goals. Jackson also tossed in 15 points while Ibekwe had 8 points, 7 rebounds, 5 blocked shots and 4 steals, all but one rebounds and one block coming in the second half after she sat all but four minutes of the first half with two fouls.
Williams led the way for Alabama A&M (4-5) with 18 points and 5 steals while Tobar tossed in 14 points to go along with 8 rebounds.
Arizona (6-4) opens up the 18-game Pac-10 Conference slate on New Year's Day, taking on UCLA (7-4) on Friday afternoon with tip-off set for 2:00 p.m.