Second Half Struggles Sink Cats, 48-38
Jan. 17, 2009
TUCSON, Ariz. - Arizona scored just 14 points in the second half and dropped a 48-38 Pac-10 decision to visiting UCLA (12-4, 3-2), Saturday afternoon in McKale Center.
After playing the Bruins even through a hard-fought first half at 24-24, the Wildcats shot just 2-of-23 (.087) after the intermission as they scored a season-low total for both a half and a game.
The 11 field goals were the fewest ever scored in a single game in program history. The Wildcats also shot only .234 for the game, marking the lowest shooting total for a Pac-10 game in team history.
An already shorthanded Arizona lineup was forced to play the game without freshman guard Reiko Thomas, who sustained a sprained left ankle on Thursday evening against USC. The Wildcats desperately missed the 11.7 points per game she averages, a total that would have been enough to capture the win.
Despite their shooting woes, the Wildcats still found themselves in the thick of the game in the latter stages as Amina Njonkou converted 3-of-4 free throws before Ify Ibekwe split a pair from the line to make it a 41-37 game with 3:39 to play.
Tierra Henderson and Doreena Campbell combined to put the outcome out of doubt over the next 1:48. Henderson converted a lay-up in transition after a missed jumper by Njonkou at the 2:57 mark. Following a steal by Chinyere Ibekwe, Campbell stepped up and drilled a three-pointer at the 1:51 mark that put the game out of reach.
The Wildcats did manage to win the battle of the boards, 42-38, but committed 22 turnovers and did not make a three-point shot for the fourth time this season. The Cats also made 16-of-25 free throws, a .640 clip that is .080 below their team average of over .720.
Ibekwe and Njonkou each scored 14 points to lead the Wildcats and combined to pull down 20 rebounds. Sarah Hays tied a career-best with 10 rebounds in a season-high 28 minutes off the bench.
Campbell was the only UCLA player in double figures, leading all scorers with 17 points as she hit 3-of-5 from beyond the arc and added four assists and three steals. Darxia Morris added 9 points off the bench on 4-of-8 shooting.
Arizona (7-10, 0-6) visits in-state rival Arizona State next Saturday, January 24 in a noon tip-off that will be televised locally on Fox Sports Arizona.