Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, January 20, 2006
Wildcats sink to 2-7 in conference play after 31-point loss to Cardinal
There's a reason the Stanford women's basketball team leads the Pacific 10 Conference. Arizona found it out last night, falling 82-51 to the Cardinal on their home court.
While the Wildcats (6-12, 2-6 Pac-10) never really got started, No. 14 Stanford (12-4, 7-1) jumped out to an early 20-3 lead and held a commanding 43-28 advantage at the break.
After that, Stanford's 41st consecutive victory on its home court in league play was never really in question.
Poor shooting led to the downfall of the Wildcats, who hit just 31 percent of their shots from the field, and 11 percent (2-of-18) from behind the arc.
"The thing that really hurt us was turnovers and shooting percentage," Arizona head coach Joan Bonvicini said in a press release. "We didn't get much from our posts. We were out-rebounding them at halftime, and they just dominated the boards in the second half. This was a very disappointing game for us."
Coming out of the break, the Cardinal never let up. They opened the second half with a 14-2 run to push their lead to beyond 40 points at one point in the half before finishing with their final 31-point advantage.
The Wildcats set out to limit the production of Stanford's standout sophomore guard Candice Wiggins and did so, limiting her to 11 points – her lowest output of the season – on 3-of-12 shooting. They forgot about junior center Brooke Smith, who scored a game-high 20 points and also grabbed 11 rebounds for the Cardinal.
Sophomore guard Ashley Whisonant was the lone Wildcat in double figures, netting 12.
Bad news turned into worse news when freshman forward Amina Njonkou, playing in only her third game of the year, left the game after apparently suffering a right ankle injury.
Njonkou, who had two points in 18 minutes of action, missed the first three months of the season with a stress fracture in her right foot.
Next the Wildcats will travel to another Bay Area school, California (13-5, 5-3).
Last night in Berkeley, the Bears knocked off No. 13 Arizona State, 66-64, and will look to ride that momentum into Sunday's nationally televised game against the Wildcats. FSN will carry the game at 2 p.m. Arizona time.
For a second straight game, Arizona will have its hands full with a two-headed monster as freshmen Devanei Hampton, a center, and Alexis Gray-Lawson, a guard, account for nearly 45 percent of the Bears total scoring.
Throughout the season, rebounding has been a point of emphasis for the height-challenged Wildcats, and Sunday's game should be no different as Cal enters the game pulling down an average of four more rebounds than its opponents per game.
One ray of sunshine for Arizona may be the fact that Cal lost 70-41 to an Oregon team that lost 81-72 to the Wildcats in Tucson last weekend.
At the time, senior guard Natalie Jones equated the win over the Ducks to a Pac-10 Championship.
Now, with its tenth loss in its past 12 games, Arizona will look to get back on track in Berkeley.
Information taken from a press release on www.arizonaathletics.com.