Cats Hold Off Cougars, 62-60

March 11, 2010

Box Score | Quotes | Notes

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Eighth-seeded Arizona survived a late charge by #9-seeded Washington State to claim a 62-60 victory, Thursday evening in the first round of the 2010 State Farm Pac-10 Women's Basketball Tournament at the Galen Center.

Junior forward Soana Lucet led all scorers with 22 points, hitting 10-of-14 field goal attempts while also adding 7 rebounds. Ify Ibekwe claimed her 17th double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds while Davellyn Whyte added 13 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists.

A 15-5 start to the game set the tone for a successful opening half for the Wildcats. The starting frontcourt of Soana Lucet and Amanda Pierson combined for 10 of those points as the Cats took a double-digit advantage after 8:25.

After having the lead cut in half, Arizona built its biggest lead of the opening stanza thanks to a 9-2 run. Lucet added two more jumpers while Brooke Jackson hit a three and Davellyn Whyte converted a steal for a lay-up to lead 32-20 with 2:47 before the break.

Washington State closed the half with a brief 7-1 stretch to close within five heading into the intermission. KiKi Moore hit back-to-back shots in the paint before Danielle LeNoir closed the half with a three-pointer.

The Wildcats came out of the break with another strong start to push their lead out to 48-34 before the Cougars mounted their comeback. April Cook scored 10 points over 3:49 to pull Washington State within 60-55 with 4:21 to play.

With the Wildcats recording their final field goal of the game with 2:34 to play, Washington State used a jumper by Jazmine Perkins and a three-pointer by Rosie Tarnowski to make it 62-60 with 57 seconds remaining.

A shot clock violation by Arizona gave Washington State a chance to tie, but Moore had a jumper just inside the free throw line miss the mark. Ashley Frazier was fouled with five seconds to play, but missed the front end of a 1-and-1 and the Cougars called timeout with 3.5 to play.

With nearly the length of the floor to cover, Cook could only just cross the mid-court stripe before hoisting a last-ditch effort that failed to hit the rim as the final horn sounded.

The Wildcats survived 24 turnovers and a 3-for-14 clip (.214) from three-point range by claiming a 43-33 edge on the glass and scoring 38 points in the paint. The Cats also got key contributions from Brooke Jackson (9 points, 8 rebounds) and Amanda Pierson (4 points, 4 rebounds), who each were inserted into the starting lineup.

Cook scored 18 points to lead Washington State (8-22), but was the only Cougar in double figures. Perkins and Moore each had 9 points while Perkins and Carly Noyes each snagged 7 rebounds.

Arizona (14-16) advances to the quarterfinal round to take on Pac-10 regular season champion and #1-seeded Stanford on Friday, March 12 at 1:15 p.m.

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