UA women finish season with loss at UCLA
Thomas scores 20 points in 70-61 UA loss
LOS ANGELES – Arizona concluded the 2009-10 regular season with a 70-61 loss at No. 25 UCLA on Saturday afternoon at Pauley Pavilion.
Sophomore guard Reiko Thomas scored a season-high 20 points to go along with 4 rebounds and 3 assists in 38 minutes. Davellyn Whyte added 17 points and 6 rebounds while Ashley Frazier had six assists.
The Wildcats shot just 21-of-61 for the game (.344) and 10-of-30 (.303) in the second half. Though Arizona held UCLA to a 38.7 percent shooting clip for the game, the Bruins held Arizona off at the free throw line down the stretch by hitting 18-of-23 (.783) from the charity stripe, including each of their last 10 attempts.
Davellyn Whyte got the Wildcats off to a strong start, hitting a pair of early three-pointers that gave Arizona an offensive boost on the way to a 29-21 lead with 5:45 before the break.
UCLA finished the half on a 16-4 run, however, to claim a 35-31 lead going into the intermission. Erica Tukiainen hit back-to-back three-pointers, the second of which tied the game at 31-31.
The Bruins effectively went inside and outside to pull away midway through the second half. A jumper by Ify Ibekwe with 10:39 to play kept Arizona within six, but Tukiainen canned another three-poiner. Markel Walker and Jasmine Dixon followed with inside jumpers to complete a 7-1 spurt for a 54-42 lead.
Despite having Soana Lucet foul out with 6:21 remaining, the Wildcats still had something left in the tank and used a 13-4 spurt to climb within 58-55 with 3:46 to play. However, the Wildcats missed three of their next four shots as well as a pair of free throws while the Bruins stretched their lead to seven to hold on for the win.
Tukiainen led all scorers with 20 points for UCLA (22-7, 15-3) while Jasmine Dixon added 17 points and 9 rebounds and Markel Walker tossed in 13 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals.
Arizona (13-16, 6-12) opens play in the 2010 State Farm Pac-10 Women’s Basketball Tournament on Thursday, March 11 at the Galen Center as the #8 seed and will take on #9-seeded Washington State at 6:00 p.m. (PT)