Women's basketball: Arizona defeats Oregon in Pac-10 tournament
Arizona fell behind with just over two minutes left, but the fourth-seeded Wildcats advanced to the quarterfinals of the Pacific 10 Conference women's basketball tournament with a 90-89 victory over upset-minded Oregon at the Galen Center.
Forward Soana Lucet and guard Davellyn Whyte each scored 23 points and forward Ify Ibekwe had 19 points and 15 rebounds for Arizona, which improved to 20-10 and will play either USC or Washington State on Thursday.
“We are definitely [an NCAA] tournament-caliber team,” Arizona Coach Niya Butts said. “I think we're playing that way down the stretch.”
Arizona and Oregon, under former Lakers and Loyola Marymount men's coach Paul Westhead, combined for the most points in the history of the event, which is in its 10th year.
Oregon, which trailed by 18 points early in the second half, appeared on the verge of an upset when guard Ariel Thomas made a three-point shot with two minutes 13 seconds remaining to put the Ducks ahead, 87-86. She followed with a basket off a drive to put Oregon ahead by three with 1:55 left.
But Lucet pulled the Wildcats to within one with a basket off a rebound and followed a missed free throw by Oregon with a layup off an assist from Shanita Arnold for a 90-89 lead.
Oregon had two chances in the final 5.6 seconds. But Deanna Weaver missed two free throws and the Ducks were unable to capitalize after getting the ball back on a jump-ball possession, Thomas’ long-range attempt from the top of the arc falling short.
Thomas made 11 of 18 shots and finished with a game-high 29 points. Amanda Johnson added 25 for the Ducks, who finished 13-17.
More later at latimes.com/sports.
-- Gary Klein