Women's Basketball Closes Italy Tour on Winning Note

May 31, 2001

Italy Tour 2001

PALESTRINA, Italy (May 31) -- With a 95-55 victory over the Acquario SurgelatiPalestrina club team on Thursday, the University of Arizona women's basketballteam was able to end its Italy tour on a positive note. The Cats posteda 5-1 record over the 16-day tour.

As with most of the previous contests, the early moments were close betweenthe two teams. Seven minutes into the game, Palestrina held a narrow one-point(11-10) advantage, then the two teams traded buckets until the Cats managedback-to-back baskets to end the first quarter with a four-point (22-18)lead.

Those final baskets of the first period set up an astounding second quarterin which Arizona out-scored Palestrina, 30-4, for the entire period. TheWildcats owned a 30-point (52-22) lead at halftime.

The Cats opened the third quarter with a 13-4 spurt that pushed the leadto 39 points (65-26) just five minutes into the period. Palestrina had an11-9 advantage through the remainder of the quarter, but Arizona led, 74-37,at the end of the period. A 19-6 run at the start of the fourth quarterstretched the Cats' lead to 50 points (93-43), although Palestrina endedthe game with its own 12-2 spurt.

Freshman forward Veranda James again led the way for the Cats with her gamehighs of 21 points and 18 rebounds. Junior forward Elizabeth Pickney collected18 points and 12 rebounds, while junior center LaKeisha Taylor came offthe bench for 17 points and six rebounds.

Apparently not bothered by a bruised rib suffered during Wednesday's game,freshman guard Candice Allen ran off 15 points, seven rebounds and threesteals. Fellow freshmen Jen Chesney and Aimee Grzyb added nine and eightpoints, respectively, with Grzyb also tallying six rebounds and seven assists. Junior guard Julie Brase rounded out the scoring with seven points.

'This was a great way to end this tour's games. We have grown so much asa team. We've learned a lot about the players, and they have learned a lotabout each other,' said head coach Joan Bonvicini. 'We've seen some newleaders emerge, so I feel like we've gotten a jump-start on next season.This trip has been a great experience for everyone.'

'The posts were just dominating inside tonight, we were getting great shotselection. We really had people stepping up both inside and out, and thatmade everyone else around them play better,' said Taylor. 'The experienceof this trip has been great. We appreciate it now, but I think we'll alllook back on this trip and appreciate it even more in the future. Playingthe game we love and doing it in another country makes the experience evenmore worthwhile, something we'll never forget.'

The Wildcats will spend Friday morning touring the Colosseum and some ofthe sights of ancient Rome, then they will have free time in the afternoon. Everyone heads back to Tucson early Saturday morning.

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