Arizona women defeat Washington State, 62-60Posted: Updated:
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- With half of Arizona's dynamic duo sitting on the bench to start the game because of unspecified team issues, the other half had no problems taking over.
Soana Lucet had 22 points and seven rebounds as Arizona held on to beat Washington State, 62-60 in the first round of the Pac-10 Conference tournament on Thursday night.
Lucet scored eight of the Wildcats first 17 points as teammate Ify Ibekwe watched from the sidelines until checking into the game with 8:11 left before halftime.
"She was outstanding," Arizona coach Niya Butts said of Lucet. "She ran the floor extremely well and we did a good job of getting her the basketball."
Eighth-seeded Arizona (14-16) never trailed again after Washington State took a 3-2 lead.
The Cougars scored their final basket when Rosie Tarnowski made a 3-pointer with 57-seconds left.
April Cook led the ninth-seeded Cougars (8-22) with 18 points. She missed a long-range 3-pointer at the buzzer would have won the game for Washington State.
"I thought that last one was going to go, we had a great look," Washington State coach June Daugherty said. "I thought we fought really, really hard like we've done all year. We didn't play our best game today, but we really gave great effort."
Davellyn Whyte, the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, had 13 points and eight rebounds and Ibekwe added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Wildcats.
The Wildcats, who swept the regular season series against Washington State, out-rebounded the Cougars 43-33.
Arizona will advance on to play top-seeded Stanford (28-1) in a quarterfinal game on Friday.
The 6-feet-1 Lucet made 10 of 14 field goals and helped score the bulk of Arizona's 38 points in the paint.
"They're a very long and athletic team," Daugherty said. "They run a lot of sets of high-low and try to take advantage of their athleticism and size."
The Cougars spent most of the first half without third-leading scorer and top rebounder Jazmine Perkins. Perkins injured her right foot with 6:38 left in the first half and did not return until five minutes into the second half.
Perkins scored all of her nine points in the second half and also had seven rebounds.
Arizona took its largest lead in the first half when Whyte scored on a layup putting the Wildcats ahead 32-20.
In the final two minutes before halftime, Washington State went on a 7-1 run capped by LeNoir's 3-pointer trimming Arizona's lead to 33-27 at the break.
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