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Arizona women’s basketball escapes upset bid by Washington

Photo courtesy of Arizona Athletics

Calling a game a “defensive battle” is usually just politeness. In the game between Arizona women’s basketball and Washington, that was definitely the case, but it didn’t mean the Wildcats didn’t play great defense—at least for 30 minutes.

Arizona held the Huskies to a program-best seven points in the first half on the way to a 51-42 victory. The Wildcats forced UW into 15 first-half turnovers.

The problem for the Wildcats was that they weren’t doing great on offense, either. Arizona scored just 16 points in the first half because they just couldn’t score. They shot just 30.8 from the field over the first 20 minutes and went 0 for 5 from 3-point distance.

Things got better in the second half, and much of it came down to freshman Gisela Sanchez. Sanchez scored eight points on 4-for-8 shooting in 17 minutes. She also grabbed a career-high five rebounds and got one steal.

Shaina Pellington had a team-high ten points, one rebound—including a big offensive board off a missed Sam Thomas free throw with 28 seconds to go—two assists, and a steal.

Helena Pueyo scored six, grabbed one rebound, blocked a shot, and had four steals.

Lauren Ware led the team with eight rebounds to go along with her four points, one block, and one steal.

Arizona had a difficult time holding its lead. The Wildcats built a 15-point lead with 7:15 to go in the fourth quarter, then let the Huskies cut it to four with 90 seconds to go.

The Huskies had to foul. Pueyo stepped to the line and connected on her free throws, but Arizona gave up a 3-point shot to Missy Peterson on the other end to close it to four again.

The Wildcats’ 10 offensive boards were big, especially at the end of the game as they forced the Huskies to continue fouling.