WBB: Cats look to end streak by the Bay - Tucson News Now

WBB: Cats look to end streak by the Bay


The Arizona Wildcats will head to the Bay Area this weekend for a two-game trip at Stanford and Cal. The Wildcats will open with a Friday night affair with the Cardinal, before traveling to Berkeley to face the Golden Bears.

Arizona went 1-1 against the Bay Area schools last month when they visited McKale Center for a weekend set. Stanford topped Arizona 59-34 to start the weekend, but the Wildcats responded with a 57-52 win over Cal two nights later.

Stanford is currently ranked No. 13 in the AP Top 25. The Wildcats have played five of their past seven games against teams ranked 14th or better in the AP Top 25. Six of the team’s 12 conference games this season so far have come against ranked opponents.

Junior guard Malena Washington is enjoying her best stretch of the 2015-16 season. The junior guard from Beaumont, Texas scored a career-high 23 points against Oregon in the final game of January on 9 of 15 shooting from the floor.

Washington has her season average at 10.8 points per game after averaging 6.9 points per game last year as a sophomore. Last time out, Washington poured in 14 points in 31 minutes against UCLA, going 6 of 14 from the floor. The Tyler Junior College transfer has already registered more total points, steals, assists and 3-pointers in than she did in 30 games last season. She’s only through 24 games this season. Washington is shooting .372 from the floor this year after shooting .341 last year. From 3-point range, she’s shooting .294 after shooting .200 last season. Washington has also scored in double figures in four of the past six games.

Arizona ranks fifth in the Pac-12 in scoring defense, eighth in field goal percentage defense, fifth in 3-point field goal percentage defense and sixth in steals. The Cats are giving up 59.5 points per game, while opponents are shooting just .393 from the field and .302 from 3-point distance. Arizona is also collecting 179 steals this season (7.5 per game) and is sixth in the league in rebounding defense at 35.4. In conference games only, Arizona is sixth in scoring defense (63.6).

The game against the Cardinal, set for an 8:30 p.m. MST tip, will be broadcasted by Pac-12 Arizona and Pac-12 Bay Area. Ann Schatz and Mary Murphy will be on the call.

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