JaLea Bennett scored 21 points to lead the Wildcats to a 77-65 win over Southern Utah on Saturday afternoon in Cedar City, Utah. Bennett's 21 points are a new career-high for her as she shot 7-11 from the field and also chipped in three rebounds and two steals.
LaBrittney Jones scored 15 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds as well. 13 of her 15 points came in the second half.
Overall, the Wildcats shot 43% for the game and 50% in the second half. They forced Southern Utah to shoot 40% for the game and 29% in the second half. The Wildcats outscored the Thunderbirds 41-26 in the second half. The charity stripe was kind to Arizona as they were 21-24 for the game.
Thanks to Bennett and Taryn Griffey, who scored nine points, Arizona's bench outscored Southern Utah's 43-13. The Wildcats also dominated points off turnovers as Arizona outscored the Thunderbirds 23-12 in that category by forcing 22 Southern Utah turnovers.
Southern Utah got off to a good start as they took a 19-15 lead into the second quarter. The Wildcats were able to cut the lead to three with about 20 seconds left in the second quarter after Farrin Bell knocked down a pair of free throws, but a tip in at the buzzer by Southern Utah gave the Thunderbirds a 39-34 lead at halftime. Southern Utah shot 52% in the first half as opposed to 33% by the Wildcats.
The Wildcats made a push in the third quarter to take a 54-52 lead heading into the fourth. Jones had eight points in the third behind two made three-pointers. The fourth quarter was all Arizona as they outscored the Thunderbirds 23-13 in the final period. The Wildcats went on a 20-0 run from the 7:04 mark to the 1:56 mark and would finish the game on a 21-4 run.
Arizona will head back to Tucson in preparation for a home game against Florida Atlantic on Thursday, Dec. 1. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. MST.