Freshman Ariel Thomas led a valiant comeback with a career-high 29 points today but it wasn't enough as Oregon lost 90-89 to Arizona in the first round of the Pac-10 Women's Basketball Tournament in Los Angeles.
Thomas, a Bee All-Metro first team selectee last season at McClatchy High School, helped erase an 18-point second-half deficit in what was the highest scoring game in Pac-10 tournament history.
Thomas' 3-pointer with 2:13 to play gave Oregon its first lead, 87-86, since the early moments of the first half. Thomas, who also had six assists, then came right back at fourth-seeded Arizona on the next possession with a lay-in as the ninth-seeded Ducks took an 89-86 advantage.
But back-to-back Oregon miscues led to two lay-ups from Arizona's Soana Lucet.
Oregon lost its starting All-Pac 10 point guard Nia Jackson to an injury on Feb. 3.
Thomas started the last nine games for Oregon (13-17) at point guard, running coach Paul Westhead's fast-break scheme. She averaged 14.3 points and 4.3 assists per during that stretch.
- Bill Paterson