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Women's hoops out to lasso UCSB Gauchos


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Arizona Daily Wildcat

By Keith Carmona
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
November 30, 1999
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The 21st-ranked UA women's basketball team gets a chance to put its 4-0 record on the line tonight when they face the 15th-ranked UC Santa Barbara Gauchos in McKale Center at 7.

If the Wildcats are to upset the Gauchos, Arizona players and coaches said that strong defensive play will be the key.

"We are just concentrating right now on everything that can make us a better team," senior guard Felecity Willis said. "Our main concern is on defense and rebounding and overall team communication. We have struggled in the past games when it comes to our rebounding, but if we are able to come into this game and grab boards, we should do well."

Senior forward Tatum Brown agreed, saying that the Wildcats are going to have to play an aggressive 40 minutes if they are to win the game.

"We are going to pretty much focus on our defense because how we played against New Mexico is not going to cut it," Brown said. "We need to come out with rebounding in mind, by coming out aggressive and getting after them right from the beginning. We are really going to focus in on defense."

UA head coach Joan Bonvicini said that getting a chance to face a very formidable opponent like UCSB will is a good opportunity for the Wildcats.

"Santa Barbara is a very good team, they are very well coached as they will be showing a lot of pressure (defense),"she said. "They are also a very good rebounding team, but if you just go down the bench, they have overall very good depth."

"My thing is to get better all the time, our players already know that we are facing a good team. We have a chance of being a very good team, but each opponent that we face, we need to face them by adjusting to them."

The Wildcats are coming off of a win over New Mexico Saturday, whereas UCSB has had nearly a week to prepare for Arizona after losing their first game of the season to No. 3 Georgia in the Women's Preseason NIT final.

"For them, they've had a week now to prepare for us and they are rested up, but this is a big game for both of us," Bonvicini said. "The keys (to win the game) are to force them into pressure and to mix things up. We also have to be able to handle their pressure."

Last year, the Wildcats went to Santa Barbara and escaped with a victory, but the Gauchos are eager for revenge this year. Look for the game to be up-tempo and physical.

"Santa Barbara is a really good team, they are strong and they hustle a lot," Brown said. "They play a game that is very similar to ours so it should be a very fun game to play in. We are two good teams and the game should be very, very fun to watch."

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