By Th‚oden K. Janes
Arizona Daily Wildcat
DeAngela Minter is not to the Arizona women's basketball team what Michael Jordan was to the 1992-93 Chicago Bulls.
You can't compare Adia Barnes to Glenn Robinson when he was with Purdue in '93-94. And Michelle Giordano? She's decent and she tries real hard, but she's definitely no Shaquille O'Neal.
Jordan, Robinson and O'Neal each had (or have) that special ability to take complete control of a game and basically score at will. If their teammates couldn't score more than 40 points between them, they would score 50.
Different story with the Wildcats.
That's right, the UA has no clear-cut superstar, no human scoring machine, no true go-to player Ä it simply is not a "one-man team." Rather, it is a 10-man team. It relies on contributions from each individual player in order to win.
Last Thursday, Arizona got exactly that, as all 10 players who entered the game scored at least two points and all but nine had at least one rebound in a 78-74 victory over 24th-ranked Oregon.
But Saturday night, the Wildcats looked like they thought Jordan was going to show up any minute.
He didn't, and the UA (9-10 overall, 4-3 in the Pacific 10 Conference) was completely overmatched in a 79-64 loss to Oregon State in front of 2,382 fans, the largest McKale Center crowd for the women's team in over a year.
Minter, a freshman guard, scored 11 points. Barnes, a 6-foot freshman forward, scored 15 points. Giordano, a freshman center, scored 10 points. Not bad, but they didn't get any other help as the rest of the team combined for only 28 points, including just five from junior point guard Brenda Pantoja, who was averaging 10.3 going into Saturday night.
"It's pretty obvious," Minter said after the game, "that when we have a really balanced scoring night, we're going to do well. And if we don't Ä well, we're going to
have a night like we had tonight."
At halftime, however, Arizona was still very much in the game, due largely to Minter's 11 first-half points and because they out-rebounded the taller Beavers 21-20.
But the Beavers opened the second half by reeling off eight consecutive points and raced to the finish on the wind of 20 second-half points by 5-11 junior swingman Anette Mollerstrom.
"It was just one of those games where things weren't happening," said Giordano, who was in foul trouble for much of the game and turned the ball over four times. "We came in at halftime and said, 'We're going to win' Ä everybody was so confident, but we went back out and couldn't get anything going. It was just one of those games."
The Wildcats now face a demanding four-game road trip against the Washington and the Bay Area schools. It will be Feb. 11 before they return home. And because the Pac-10 race is so tight right now, winning at least two on the road will be critical.
"We have to go and play well on the road," said UA head coach Joan Bonvicini. "I'm disappointed we didn't play well (against Oregon State), but I'm more concerned that we play well on the road, that's the important thing to concentrate on now."
Read Next Article