February 09, 2013

Cardinal cages Cats

In spite of turning the ball over 19 times and committing 18 fouls in a wild, furious-paced game, the Cardinal defeated the Arizona Wildcats 73-43.

The Wildcats used a 4-5 player full-court press throughout the game that frequently discombobulated the Cardinal. But once the Cardinal broke free, they scored at a fine rate of 46% – just a bit below their season average.

To the delight of all her teammates and other fans, Mikaela found her scoring touch tonight and had the first double-double of her career with a career-high 11 points and 10 rebounds. In the KZSU postgame interview, Sara said they were so happy for Mikaela because, "... she usually just does all the dirty work in the paint – passing and rebounding."

Also delightful, but not surprising, was Chiney's 18th double-double of the season – 18 points and 12 rebounds.

Jos was the third double-digit scorer for the Cardinal with 15 points. She made three of four attempts from beyond the arc. Sara and Taylor each made one of three 3-pointers.

Bonnie launched six long ones, but her shots weren't falling tonight. However, she drove to the basket for two layups, was fouled on two other attempts and made all four of her free throws.

Although the Wildcats committed 21 fouls (and the Cardinal 18), it was not an ugly aggressive game. The fouls came mostly from honest defense and from players getting tangled up, not from their assaulting each other.

The Wildcats, who had the best free throw percentage in the conference, made just 10 of 19 tonight. The Cardinal made a respectable 67%. If you discount five misses by freshmen, the more experienced players made an excellent 82% of theirs.

The Cardinal, benefitting from a height advantage, were very good on defense tonight. They out-rebounded the Wildcats 47-28, held them to 31% shooting and held their two double-digit scorers to a total of 14 points.

The fast pace forced by the Wildcats made for an exciting game, but caused trouble for both teams. Each turned the ball over 19 times, the Wildcats had nine steals and the Cardinal had eleven steals.

Toni was present tonight, but not in uniform – reason not disclosed.

In other Pac-12 action tonight, Cal defeated ASU, and UCLA squeaked past Washington by four points to take sole possession of third place.

Here are game reports and commentary:

The box score and play-by-play,

And photos by Marcio Jose Sanchez (Associated Press):

Sara puts up her shot
Chiney drives to the basket
Mikaela grabs a rebound
Chiney grabs a rebound
Amber on defense
Jos towers over a Wildcat
Mikaela goes after a loose ball

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