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UA’s chances vs. Cardinal very iffy sans Ify

Citizen Staff Writer



With or without injured star Ify Ibekwe, the Arizona women’s basketball team faces a huge task Thursday night at No. 2-ranked Stanford.

The Wildcats have lost their last 12 to the Cardinal, including seven at Maples Pavilion.

“The focus is going to be what it has been all year long,” first-year UA coach Niya Butts said. “We have to work on doing some things that is going to get us better defensively and offensively.”

Ibekwe, the Pac-10′s leading rebounder (11.5 per game) and second-leading scorer (15.6 points), has missed the last two games with a strained right knee. She’s questionable for Stanford.

“We definitely want to do what is in the best interest of Ify,” Butts said.

UA has seen freshman guard Courtney Clements step up her game. She has averaged 13 points in the last nine games.

The Wildcats got a huge lift from 6-foot-5 freshman Malia Nahinu in Saturday’s win over Washington: a career-high 13 points and six rebounds.

Stanford is led by Kayla Pedersen and Jayne Appel, who both scored 20 points as the Cardinal won at USC 85-74 last week to take sole possession of first place in the Pac-10.

Arizona is trying to hold down eighth place in the league. The Wildcats, picked last in a preseason poll, are ahead of Washington State and Washington.


Arizona (11-16, 4-12)

at No. 2 Stanford (24-4, 15-1)

When: 8 p.m. Thursday

Where: Stanford

Radio: 1400-AM

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