WSU Falls To Arizona 78-51

Dec. 29, 2003

TUCSON, Ariz. - Washington State's Jessica Perry scored 12 points and Kim Dugan added 10 in the Cougars' 78-51 loss to the Arizona Wildcats in Pacific-10 Conference women's basketball action, Monday at the McKale Center.

The loss dropped the Cougars to 4-6 overall and 0-2 in the Pac-10. Arizona improved to 10-2 overall and 2-0 in conference play.

Shawntinice Polk led Arizona with 19 points and 17 rebounds. Dee-Dee Wheeler added 19 points for the Wildcats as well while Natalie Cole chipped in 13 points.

Coming off a 29-turnover performance against Arizona State Saturday, the Cougars once again struggled in taking care of the ball as the team committed 28 turnovers despite forcing Arizona into 25 of its own.

Arizona opened the game with four consecutive points but a 9-2 run, highlighted by back-to-back buckets from Kate Benz, staked the Cougars to a 9-6 lead at the 14:17 mark.

The Wildcats responded with an 11-2 run of their own to open a 17-11 advantage. Arizona would extend its lead to 30-22 at the half.

The Cougars shot 8-of-30 (26.7 percent) in the opening 20 minutes. WSU began the game cold, missing seven of its first eight shots and ended the first half in similar fashion, misfiring on its final six attempts. Conversely, Arizona, which had also started slow by missing five of its first seven attempts, ended the half 14-of-34 (41.2 percent) from the field.

Perry opened the second half with a bucket to get the Cougars to within 30-24 but Arizona went on a 7-0 run, sparked by a 3-point play from Polk, to open a 37-24 lead at the 18:22 mark.

Buoyed by an 11-4 run that was capped by a Candace Field's 3-point play, WSU sliced its deficit to six at 41-35 with 13:38 left. However, Arizona erased any doubt with a 16-0 run to take a 55-35 lead with 9:11 remaining.

For the game, WSU was 19-of-60 (31.7 percent) from the field while Arizona was 33-of-70 (47.1 percent).

'We didn't take advantage of them being lethargic in the first half,' WSU Head Coach Sherri Murrell said. 'In the second half they poured it on. Arizona is a good team and they're not going to be lethargic for 40 minutes.'

WSU returns to action for a two-game homestand later this week. The Cougars host No. 9 Stanford, Friday, Jan. 2 at 7 p.m. and California, Sunday, Jan. 4 at 1 p.m. Both games are at Friel Court.
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