Wildcat Women Romp In Italian Tour Opener, 115-61

May 21, 2001

Venice, Italy - Freshman Veranda James and junior Elizabeth Pickney combined for 65 points and 28 rebounds as the University of Arizona women's basketball team romped to a 115-61 win over host Rappresentativa Venezia on Sunday. The contest was the first of a six-game tour in Italy for the Wildcats.

Arizona opened the first quarter with a 24-5 run and never looked back, racing out to a 34-18 advantage at the end of the quarter. The second quarter looked much the same, as the Wildcats out-scored Venezia, 38-10. James scored 15 of her 24 first-half points during that second quarter, including the last eight points of the period. She had a game-high 19 rebounds for the contest.

Venezia managed to keep the contest somewhat closer during the third quarter, out-scoring the Wildcats 18-14, but Arizona answered by running off 29 fourth-quarter points to Venezia's 15. Pickney nailed 16 of her 30 points during the second half, including draining a three-pointer with just seconds remaining in the game.

Freshman guard Candice Allen added 21 points, eight rebounds and a team-high tying five steals. Fellow freshman guard Aimee Grzyb contributed 11 points, six rebounds and four assists, while junior center LaKeisha Taylor had seven points and three rebounds before fouling out.

Seeing her first action in more than a year, junior guard Julie Brase put together a complete game, with seven rebounds, six assists, five points and five steals. Freshman guard Jen Chesney tallied six points and four rebounds.

'It was just nice to play again. I'm very proud of the team. We travelled a long way and didn't have a very deep bench, but we played some great team basketball,' said head coach Joan Bonvicini, who is guiding the Cats on the program's third such foreign tour. 'It's nice to have Julie (Brase) back, and I think this was the most aggressive game Candice (Allen) has ever played.'

'We just went out and played. This is the first time this team has had fun in a while,' said James. 'It was good to get a road win. I felt good, and our team is in great shape. Everyone ran the floor well and played great defense.'

The Wildcats will have a free day in Venice on Monday, seeing San Marcos Square, the Belltower, the Palazzo Ducale, the Bridge of Sighs and other historical sights. The Cats take to the floor again on Tuesday, May 22, playing the San Bonifacio Verona club team at 8 p.m. (11 a.m. Tucson time).

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