Male opponents 'a good test' for UA

By Craig Sanders

Arizona Daily Wildcat

The Arizona women's basketball team wanted to use its Red-Blue scrimmage game as a teaching tool for the upcoming season. First lesson: Don't schedule opponents who have 6-foot-10-inch men.

In a change from the normal Red-Blue games, Arizona head coach Joan Bonvicini decided to match her Wildcat team against a group of male players it has been practicing against. In a game filled with miscues and turnovers and more than a few questionable calls, the Wildcats (wearing white) lost to their male counterparts (in blue) 70-68 in double overtime.

"The guys are really tough and it was a good test for us," Bonvicini said. "I think it gives us a good idea of what we have to work on. They are obviously very good, and that is only going to help us."

The Wildcats were led by last season's Pacific 10 Conference freshman of the year Adia Barnes. She scored 22 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Senior point guard Brenda Pantoja added 17 points and seven assists and sophomore guard DeAngela Minter chipped in 10 points and eight rebounds. The Blue Team was led by sophomore Jon Woller's 28 points and 12 rebounds.

"I think we played a lot better in the second half," Barnes said. "We weren't playing well in the first half, but in the second we picked it up. We were playing men. Girls aren't going to be half as fast, they're not going to block as many shots."

The Wildcats never trailed until 5:23 remained in the second half when the Blue team hit a three-pointer to begin a 9-0 run to go up 55-46 with only 3:01 left in the game. Over the next minute the teams exchanged baskets and the score was 57-48 with only 1:52 remaining.

Then the UA women went on a run. Pantoja hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to 57-51. After the teams traded baskets, Barnes hit another three-pointer with only 19.6 seconds remaining to cut the lead to 59-56.

The Blue team missed a shot with just over 10 seconds remaining in the game and the Wildcats elected not to take a timeout. After a shot was blocked out of bounds with only 1.8 seconds remaining, the Wildcats got the ball to Pantoja in the left corner and she drained her third three-pointer of the night. The three tied the game up, but appeared to be shot after the buzzer sounded.

"That's why we're at home," Bonvicini said with a laugh. "It looked in to me. But a close game is what we wanted. Otherwise we wouldn't have as good a measuring stick as we do right now."

In the first overtime, the Blue team took a quick lead before the Wildcats tied the game at 68 on sophomore Mikko Giordano's basket with 1:00 to go. The only points in the two-minute second overtime were a pair of free throws by Blue team sophomore Jon Woller with 3.3 seconds to go.

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