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Arizona women lose close game to ranked Cal - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Arizona women lose close game to ranked Cal

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TUCSON, Ariz. – Arizona (4-11, 0-4 Pac-12) and No. 23 California (11-4, 2-2 Pac-12) exchanged runs throughout Sunday afternoon’s game at McKale Center, but the Golden Bears were able to come out on top by a score of 53-51. Mikayla Cowling ended up being the difference in the game, scoring a game-high 19 points with five three-pointers, all of which came in the second half.

“I felt like we played well for about thirty minutes,” head coach Adia Barnes said. “I felt that we controlled the whole tempo of the game in the first half. The second half they went on a run and Cowling was the zone buster and hit some threes. I feel like we have grown in the last couple games, but there is still a ways to go."

Coming into the game, Arizona was incredibly undersized compared to California, but the Wildcats held their own. Cal outrebounded Arizona by just one board and the Wildcats actually outscored the Golden Bears in the paint 24-20 with the help of 12 offensive rebounds compared to Cal’s nine. Neither team shot particularly well, as Cal shot 39% and Arizona made 33% of their shots.

It was a balanced scoring effort from Arizona as five players had at least seven points or more, but JaLea Bennett and Sam Thomas each led the way with 13 apiece. Thomas also pitched in seven rebounds and three steals while Bennett grabbed six boards, dished out four assists and had two steals. Destiny Graham did a good job on the boards with 10 rebounds, five of them on the offensive end.

Cal started the game on a 10-4 run in the first quarter and had some good momentum at the first media timeout, but Arizona locked down the defense the rest of the quarter, allowing just three more points. The score was 13-9 in favor of Cal at the end of the first period.

The second quarter was all Arizona as they outscored the Golden Bears 17-8 in the period, forcing Cal to 18% shooting while shooting 54% themselves. At the half, Arizona was up 26-21, giving them their first halftime lead in the Pac-12 slate. The last time Arizona allowed single digits in a quarter to a Pac-12 opponent was back on Jan. 27, 2017 when USC scored just nine points in the third quarter.

Arizona extended their lead to 10 with just over five minutes left in the third quarter, but Cal would go on a 15-4 run to end the period to take a 38-37 lead into the last 10 minutes of the game. Cal started off the fourth quarter hot and extended their lead to eight with 6:27 left, but the Arizona defense locked it down once again as the Golden Bears scored just three more points in the final six minutes and did not score in the final four minutes.

In the final six minutes, Arizona went on a 10-3 run and had a chance to either tie or win the game on the final possession, but a last-second shot felt short, giving Cal the victory.

The Cats hit the road again next weekend for a trip to the Oregon schools starting with the Ducks on Friday, Jan. 12 at 9 p.m. MST. Additionally, the Adia Barnes Radio Show will start tomorrow evening at 6 p.m. MST at Brother John’s BBQ. You can also listen to the radio show live on 1400 AM.

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