Wildcats Top Ducks, 90-89
With an upset in the making, fourth-seed Arizona was able to put the brakes on ninth-seed Oregon's late game run and finish with a 90-89 win to head into tomorrow's second round of the Pacific Life Pac-10 Basketball Tournament.
"It's March and that clearly showed today," said Arizona coach Niya Butts. "It was a tale of two halves for us. We had a solid first half for us even though we didn't do a great job on the boards. My anticipation for us is that we would come out in the second half by tightening up, rebound the basketball and I think it got worse. We didn't guard the three-point line well in the second half and I think we gave up eight three-pointers. I'm very happy with the win because in March it is about surviving games."
The Wildcats earned their 20th win of the season after letting an 18-point lead in the second half disappear to a high-flying Oregon team that with 1:55 left in the game, took a three-point lead.
"We played a very good game and I was happy with our effort of our players," said Oregon coach Paul Westhead. "I am disappointed that we weren't able to get the win. They played their hearts out."
Leading all Arizona scorers was Soana Lucet and Davellyn Whyte who both finished with 23 points. Ify Ibeckwe finished with the team's sole double-double with her 15 rebounds and 19 points. Arizona finished with a tournament record 51 points in the first half.
Oregon was paced by Ariel Thomas' 29 points. The Ducks had two players finish their season with double-doubles from Danielle Love's 13 rebounds and 11 points and Amanda Johnson's 11 rebounds and 25 points. Oregon also finished with tournament record 83 field goal attempts
Arizona will now face the winner of the USC and Washington State game tomorrow at 5:15 pm.