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Arizona women get first conference win in Unity Game - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Arizona women get first conference win in Unity Game

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TUCSON, Ariz. – The Arizona Wildcats (5-13, 1-6 Pac-12) grabbed their first conference win of the season on Friday night with a victory over Colorado (11-7, 2-5 Pac-12) by a score of 72-63 in McKale Center. JaLea Bennett led the Wildcats with 23 points on the night.

“We’re playing hard and we’re not quitting,” head coach Adia Barnes said. “It’s not perfect, it’s not beautiful, but we’re just finding a way. What we’re lacking in one area, we’re stepping up in another area.”

It was the defense that won Arizona the ballgame tonight, as Colorado shot just 32% from the field, including 26% from downtown. Although Colorado grabbed 23 offensive rebounds, the Buffs converted that to just 19 second-chance points. On the other side of things, Arizona 49% from the field, which is the second-best shooting percentage of the season. The Wildcats led for 38:21.

Bennett was the star of the show tonight for Arizona, scoring 23 points on 11-15 shooting. She made her first seven shots of the game and had 15 points at halftime. The senior also grabbed six rebounds and had a career-high four blocks.

Kat Wright stepped up in a big way, knocking down a season-high five three-pointers en route to 16 points. Wright has now scored in double-figures in three-straight games for the first time in her Arizona career.

“I saw they were trying to trap the corner a lot so coach Barnes said get it to the corner and get it out quickly,” Wright said. “Then find that open person because there's going to be someone open. My teammates did a really good job of finding me out of that trap."

Destiny Graham was clutch at the free throw line, especially in the fourth quarter, knocking down nine of her 10 attempts. She also brought down seven rebounds.

Arizona took a 15-14 lead into the second quarter after playing some quality defense in the first period, forcing the Buffs in to 28% shooting. In the second quarter, Arizona outscored Colorado 20-14 to take a seven-point lead into halftime. Overall, the Wildcats shot 54% while holding the Buffs to 29% in the first half.

The Wildcats had another good quarter in the third as they shot 50% and forced Colorado into 28% shooting, giving Arizona a 51-41 lead at the end of the third period. Marlee Kyles hit a deep three-pointer with just a few seconds left on the clock to put the Wildcats up double-digits.

The fourth quarter was pretty back-and-forth with Colorado cutting the lead to four at one point, but some clutch three-pointers by Wright and Sam Thomas and free throws by Graham kept the game out of reach, giving Arizona its first Pac-12 win of the season.

Next up for the Wildcats is the Utah Utes, who are set to visit McKale Center on Sunday for a noon tip-off on the Pac-12 Networks.

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