Defense Delivers Cats Past Ducks, 68-44
Feb. 7, 2009
TUCSON, Ariz. - Five Arizona players tallied in double figures as the Wildcats dominated visiting Oregon, 68-44, Saturday afternoon in Pac-10 play at McKale Center.
Senior forward Amina Njonkou hit 7-of-8 field goal attempts to finish with a game-high 16 points while missing a double-double by just one rebound as she finished with nine. Ify Ibekwe added 12 points while Ashley Frazier, Reiko Thomas and Courtney Clements tossed in 10 apiece.
Less than 48 hours after a lackluster performance against Oregon State, Arizona came out with a new-found intensity and defensive aggression. The Wildcats forced 24 turnovers as Oregon played the game without all-Pac-10 point guard Taylor Lilley, who suffered a concussion on Thursday evening against Arizona State.
The Cats recorded 13 steals for the game, a season-high, and converted 25 points off of those Oregon miscues. Arizona also got out in transition for a season-best 16 points on the break.
Arizona built its lead to double-digits at the 7:50 mark of the first half after the second of back-to-back three-pointers by Frazier. The Ducks trimmed the gap to nine on three more occasions before the break, but never led by less than 12 for the entire second half.
While shooting .482 for the game, their best total in Pac-10 play, the Wildcats also committed a season-low 11 turnovers. Arizona was able to work the ball inside as well as capitalizing on the break to the tune of a 40-20 edge in points in the paint.
Leading by a dozen early in the second half, Arizona put the game away for good with a 8-0 run over a 1:48 stretch. Njonkou had lay-ups on either end of the spurt while Faihza Hill and Frazier each recorded steals and transition lay-ups.
With its biggest margin of victory of the season, Arizona head coach Niya Butts was able to empty her bench and give freshman Malia Nahinu her first action. She converted her only field goal attempt and recorded a steal as all 10 Wildcats saw action.
Frazier finished with 8 assists and 2 steals against just one turnovers while Ibekwe added 7 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 blocked shots.
Jasmin Holliday had 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting to lead Oregon (8-14, 4-7) while Micaela Cocks added 12 points and Ellie Manou had 9 rebounds.
Arizona (9-13, 2-9) hits the road next Thurdsay, February 12 with a trip to famed Pauley Pavilion to take on UCLA with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m.