February 4, 1999
TUCSON, Ariz. - The University of Arizona women's basketball team (11-8 overall, 6-4 Pac-10) began the second round of Pac-10 play with a lopsided 84-58 victory over the Washington Huskies (10-9 overall, 6-4 Pac-10) on Thursday night. The Wildcats, who led by eight points at halftime, shot 26-29 (90 percent) for the game from the free throw line, and in the last eight minutes, Arizona was 15-of-16 from the line.
The Wildcats have shot at least 80 percent from the charity stripe in three of their last four contests.
"This was a very big game for us to win tonight, and it will do a lot for us down the stretch," said head coach Joan Bonvicini, in her eighth year at Arizona. "They (Washington) are a very good team, and it took a team effort to beat them. We had a lot of different people step up to contribute for us tonight."
Freshman guard Julie Brase and junior guard Lisa Griffith led Arizona, each with 15 points, with Griffith shooting 8-of-8 from the line and adding seven assists and six rebounds.
Freshman center Elizabeth Pickney dumped in 14 points and six rebounds, while junior guard Felecity Willis was the fourth Wildcat in double figures, with 13 points, seven assists and five boards.
Arizona held the Husky offense, which is second in the Pac-10 (74.3 ppg), to only 58 points, 21 points off Washington's season average.
"I think defensively this was one of our better games. We didn't let them come in our house and intimidate us," said junior forward Angela Lackey.
The Cats pounded the boards and outrebounded the Huskies, 39-32, and the Wildcat defense grabbed 12 steals and forced 30 Washington turnovers, while committing only 14 for the game. Before tonight's game, Washington led the Pac-10 in rebounding margin by 5.3 rpg.
"We have been working on our press, and that helped us a lot," Brase said. "We made them commit 30 turnovers, and that is because of our press."
"We had a good defensive effort. We knew that our pressure was going to bother them, but the big thing for us was to be able to rebound much better than we did against them. We outrebounded the leading rebounding team in the conference by seven. We stayed fresh on the boards, something that made a difference for us," Bonvicini said.
According to Bonvicini, "We control our own destiny, but we still have to look at the big picture. We want to win every half of the games. We did a good job of that tonight, especially with hitting some clutch free throws down the stretch."