Wildcats Fall to Beavers, 68-43

Jan. 10, 2009

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CORVALLIS, Ore. - Arizona scored just two points over the final 7:17 of the game as Oregon State handed the Wildcats their worst loss of the season, 68-43, Saturday evening in Pac-10 play at Gill Coliseum.

With the game still in touch at 49-41 to play, Oregon State finished the game on a 19-2 run to blow the game open. Ashley Frazier converted the only Arizona basket down the stretch, hitting a short jumper with 2:57 to go.

Arizona continued to struggle on the offensive end, making just 15 field goals in the contest and shot 35.7 percent (15-of-42). The Cats committed 22 turnovers and lost the battle of the boards, 34-30.

The Wildcats were fighting an uphill battle the entire game, falling behind 14-4 after nine minutes. The Beavers scored seven-straight points to push the lead up to 23-10, but the Wildcats answered back with six-consecutive points of their own to keep the game within reach with 3:52 to play.

The faint glimmer of hope was blown out by the Beavers down the stretch toward halftime as Oregon State finished the half on a 9-3 stretch. The Wildcats missed their final eight shots of the opening stanza and ended up just 7-of-21 from the field (.333) with nine turnovers and a 17-15 rebound deficit.

In contrast to past road games, the Wildcats came out strong to start the second half. Ashley Frazier and Ify Ibekwe hit back-to-back three-pointers to nearly trim the halftime deficit in half, 32-25.

The early offensive prowess quickly left the Cats, however, as they proceeded to miss 6-of-7 field goal attempts and commit four turnovers to trail 42-28 with 12:02 to play. Ibekwe ended the drought with a jumper, but basket did little to thwart the Beavers’ pursuit of the victory.

Leading scorer Talisa Rhea paced Oregon State (10-4, 1-3) with 21 points, connecting on 5-of-10 from three-point range and 8-of-16 overall. Tiffany Ducker tossed in 12 points and grabbed nine rebounds while Cedes Fox-Griffin tallied 11 points, six assists, four rebounds and three steals.

Ibekwe was the only Arizona player to score in double figures, making 5-of-8 shots for 13 points while pulling down nine rebounds and blocking three shots. Njonkou tallied nine points and Frazier added seven points.

Arizona (7-8, 0-4) returns home on Thursday, January 15 to host USC in a Pac-10 game at the McKale Center with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m.

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