Shaina Pellington scored 12 of her 20 points in the fourth quarter and Sam Thomas added 19 points to lead No. 8 Arizona to a 74-63 victory over UCLA on Wednesday.
Arizona (15-2, 5-2 Pac-12) has won four of its last five games and ended the Bruins’ four-game win streak.
The Bruins (9-5, 4-2) were led by IImar’I Thomas who had 14 points. Natalie Chou added 13 and Charisma Osborne 12.
Arizona tied the game on Thomas’ 3-pointer, and Cat Reese made a pair of free throws to give the Wildcats their first lead of the game at 44-42 with 5:05 left in the third quarter.
“We can come out and get punched in the face and still fight,” Sam Thomas said. “But we can’t let that happen again.”
Thomas then hit another 3-pointer from the left wing to give Arizona a five-point lead and UCLA called a timeout.
Then Pellington took over in the fourth during Arizona’s 12-0 run to end the game. She had 6 of the 12 points in that stretch.
“Pellington got to the cup and Thomas hit 3s,” UCLA coach Cori Close said. “Everyone knew it. And they were still able to do it. Credit to them for their discipline and to play to exactly their strengths. We need to learn how to take those things away.”
The Wildcats have the top-scoring defensive in the Pac-12 and forced UCLA into 15 turnovers.
Arizona started the game cold and missed its first nine shots and was 16.7 percent from the field in the first quarter. The Wildcats also turned the ball over twice via offensive fouls in the first quarter, and those charges were taken by Dominique Onu and Izzy Anstey.
“We found a way to win,” Arizona coach Adia Barnes said. “We started off really slow and had a lack of intensity. The thing I’m proud of is we showed some character and didn’t lay down and die. We found a way to win. A learning lesson from this game is that we can’t go down 19-8 and think we’re going to win games.”
Reese, Arizona’s leading scorer, was subbed out of the game with what appeared to be an ankle injury in the first quarter but returned in the same quarter and finished with 12 points.
Dominique Onu made a 3-pointer to extend UCLA’s game-opening run to 10-0.
INJURY BUG HITS AGAIN
UCLA sophomore guard Charisma Osborne left the game with an apparent right knee injury and was carried off the court in the third quarter. Close was not yet sure of the extent of the injury after the game.
RARE ROAD WIN
This was Arizona’s first win at Pauley Pavilion since Feb. 15, 2007.
Arizona: The Wildcats experienced plenty of adversity in the first quarter as they were cold from the field but got back in the game with Reese inside, good shots from outside and order was restored.
UCLA: The Bruins had put together a nice four-game win streak and took the lead in the fourth quarter, so there was plenty of bright spots but much to learn about the Wildcats second-half surge.
Arizona: Plays Sunday at No. 2 Stanford, making for a rematch of last season’s NCAA championship game.
UCLA: Plays Friday at No. 19 Oregon, the third of four road games this month.