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Freshmen lead UA women to win

Citizen Staff Writer
The Bounce



It was supposed Senior Day’ for the three players on the Arizona women’s basketball team. However, it became “career day” for freshmen Malia Nahinu and Courtney Clements.

Clements and Nahinu both set career highs in combining for 35 points in UA’s 72-62 come-from-behind win over Washington Saturday in a Pac-10 game at McKale Center.

Arizona honored seniors Sarah Hays, Amina Njonkou and Beatrice Bofia before the game. All three started, but an ineffective Bofia was replaced by the seldom-used Nahinu.

UA (11-16, 4-12) was forced to go without Ify Ibewke for a second straight game. Ibewke, who leads UA in scoring and rebounding, was bothered by a strained right knee. She remains questionable for Thursday’s game at Stanford (8 p.m., 1400 AM).

The 6-foot-5 Nahinu had played in only two games for a total of three minutes.

“We would’ve had a difficult time winning this game if Malia hadn’t played the way she did,” said UA coach Niya Butts. “She was ready to play.”

In 16 minutes, Nahinu had 13 points and six rebounds – both career highs. She also had two blocks and a steal.

“I was a little nervous,” Nahinu said. “I hope every game I get a chance to play and this time they gave me the opportunity.”

Nahinu gave Arizona a 39-38 lead with 13:20 left in the second half. The Wildcats later regained the lead 44-42 for good.

“It makes a difference when you have a big person in there where you can dish it in,” Clements said about Malia.

Clements finished with a career high 22 points.

“I’m happy with the way Courtney performed down the stretch,” Butts said. “She was more aggressive than she normally is in the second half.”

Reiko Thomas and Ashley Frazier added 13 and 12 points for UA, respectively.

• Women’s box score, Page 7C

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