TUCSON, AZ - The University of Arizona women's basketball team won their first exhibition game of the season by a score of 69-50 over the Eastern New Mexico Greyhounds. JaLea Bennett led the way with 35 points, 10 rebounds and four steals off the bench.
"I think we had pretty good execution for our first game," head coach Adia Barnes said. "I definitely saw a lot of things we need to work on but I think it was better than I anticipated."
Bennett was a monster from the time she stepped on the floor, scoring 35 points on 11-20 shooting, including 13-13 from the charity stripe in 25 minutes. Although it won't officially count, Bennett would've smashed her career high of 21 points.
"Coach (Adia) Barnes told me to attack on offense," Alonso said. "When I got in I shot two jump shots and coach just told me that when I get the ball I need to attack because they can't guard me. So I was trying to attack and to be aggressive."
Lucia Alonso got the Wildcats going with 10 first-half points. From then on, she let Bennett carry the scoring load, but still was able to contribute as she grabbed six boards and dished our four assists.
"We have a lot of freshman," Alonso said. "I know that it's hard to step up your first year and take shots, so I took control since I'm a returner to show the freshman what to do."
The Wildcats got off to a bit of a slow start as Eastern New Mexico outscored Arizona 14-13 in the first quarter, but the Wildcats would finish off the second quarter on an 8-0 run to take a 32-22 lead into the locker room.
After the Greyhounds won the third quarter 20-19, Arizona would finish out the game on a high note by winning the fourth quarter 18-8.
A week from today, the Wildcats will play their second and final exhibition game against Western New Mexico in McKale Center. Tip is set for 7 p.m. MST.