UA women attempting to end five-game skid

Arizona Daily Wildcat

After the last five games, the UA women's basketball team left the court in frustration at dropping Pac-10 games.

The Wildcats (9-14 overall, 4-7 in the Pacific 10 Conference) are on a dismal five-game losing streak that has seen them fall into a three-way tie for sixth in the Pac-10 after starting out strong in the early portion of the conference schedule.

But Arizona hopes to turn things around tonight at 7 against ninth-place UCLA (8-12, 3-8) when the teams tip off at McKale Center.

Four of the past five losses have come on the road.

"It's going to be nice to be at home. It feels like we haven't played in McKale in ages," UA coach Joan Bonvicini said. "We need to improve our defense. Basically, we need to improve in every aspect of the game. This team needs to get back on track."

The Wildcats need a win against the Bruins and an upset of No. 24 Southern Cal Sunday in order to get closer to the .500 mark and creep higher up in the conference standings.

Arizona has some relief in the fact that it has already beaten the Bruins this year, leaving Pauley Pavilion in Westwood, Calif., with a 64-61 in January.

But in order to win, the Wildcats will have to keep tabs on UCLA center Kisa Hughes (7.4 points per game, 10.8 rebounds mid

per game) who scored 25 points against the Wildcats in the last game.

"UCLA has a good post in Kisa Hughes," Bonvicini said, "but they also have good quickness in the backcourt."

The Wildcats have their own force in freshman power forward Adia Barnes. Barnes, who leads the team in both scoring (14.6 ppg) and rebounds (7.7 rpg) while serving as arguably the UA's best player this season.

Arizona point guard Brenda Pantoja leads the Wildcats with 138 assists. The junior from Bell Gardens, Calif., is especially eager to help her team capture two victories against the perennially tough Los Angeles schools.

"This weekend, I'm hoping to make it my great moment because I know if we sweep you can mark it down as my best moment in my four years here," Pantoja said. "Definitely, that would be it."

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