Arizona women’s basketball takes on UCLA in rare weekday Pac-12 game

Pac-12 women’s basketball rarely deviates from the usual Friday-Sunday schedule, but pandemic times require everyone to be more flexible. UCLA had to postpone the game against Arizona, which was scheduled to take place in the opening week of Pac-12. The two teams will finally meet at Pauley Pavilion on Wednesday night in just the second event to have admitted spectators this month.

Initially, the addition of the game would force the Wildcats to play five games in ten days while the final three were on their way. The postponement of Friday’s game in California has eased that burden. head coach Adia Barnes however, was more concerned about playing the games.

“I’m fully in favor of a new schedule,” she said at the beginning of the month. “We want to play matches. I don’t want my team not to play here for almost a month.”

For UCLA, the need to play matches goes back to the NCAA’s 25-game requirement for teams to qualify for the tournament. The Bruins have only played 13 games this year due to COVID-19 issues within their schedule and others. They won’t be able to hit the 25 game limit until their first game in the Pac-12 tournament, even if every game left on their schedule goes according to plan.

UCLA has other looming problems. This year they are again saddled with injuries. Last year, they played most of the year with just seven players due to injuries and opt-outs. The matter continues.

In their last game against USC, the Bruins had only five available players left after star Charisma Osbourne left the game with an injury. The team has been playing without a point guard lately Jaelynn Penn due to injury. They can play against Arizona on Wednesday with the minimum of seven players available.

The last time the two teams met was in the semifinals of last year’s Pac-12 tournament. The Bruins walked away with the 58-49 win in which the Wildcats scored no double digits in either of the first two quarters and only scored 11 in the third.

That could be a concern in this one, given the slow start Arizona had at home against Colorado on Sunday. The Wildcats trailed a whopping 12 in the first half of that game before rushing back to the big win.

UCLA also got the weekend sweep last week, winning both rivalry games against USC.

No. 8 Arizona (14-2, 4-2) @ UCLA (9-4, 4-1)

When and where: The game kicks off at the Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, California, on Wednesday, January 26 at 6 p.m. MST.

TV: The game will air on Pac-12 Network, Pac-12 Arizona and Pac-12 Los Angeles.

Radio: The radio call by Brody Dryden is at 1400 AM (KTUC). The broadcast can also be viewed online at: The Varsity Network or on the station’s website.

Rankings and ratings: Arizona is ranked No. 8 in both the Associated Press Top 25 and the USA TODAY Sports/WBCA Poll. The Wildcats are No. 9 inches the net and No. 8 inch The ranking of her Hoop Stats.

UCLA gets two points (one vote for No. 24) in the AP Top 25 and four points in the coaches poll for landing on both lists of “others who receive votes.” The Bruins are number 41 in the NET and number 41 according to Her Hoop Stats.

projections: Her Hoop stats give the Wildcats a 62.6 percent chance of winning at Pauley Pavilion and predicts 63.6 points for Arizona against 60.2 for UCLA.

How To Follow: follow us on twitter @AZDesertSwarm or on our Facebook page for regular coverage during the week. For live tweets during matches and other coverage, follow our deputy editor on Twitter Reply to @Kim_Disney.

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