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Arizona looks to regroup against No. 15 California Monday

Arizona guards Carissa Crutchfield and Ashley Merrill are two of the eight players the Wildcats currently dress.
Arizona guards Carissa Crutchfield and Ashley Merrill are two of the eight players the Wildcats currently dress.
Scott Mammoser

Arizona will search for its first conference win this season when another highly-ranked opponent in No. 15 California visits the McKale Center at 3 p.m. Monday .

The Wildcats (4-12, 0-5 Pacific-12) suffered their worst loss of the season Friday, 96-52, to Stanford and hasn’t defeated a ranked team since winning at No. 19 UCLA on Jan. 16, 2005.

Senior guard Kama Griffits led Arizona with 12 points in the Stanford loss, and her 10 per game are second on the team in scoring behind Candice Warthen’s 13.

“Our toughness, we really need to be tough, mentally tough and execute our game plan,” Griffits said as what needed to be changed. “I’m excited, we’re on to the next one. This game (Stanford) is over, and every team is beatable, so we just have to come in ready.”

The Golden Bears (12-4, 5-1) are coming off a 68-59 loss at Arizona State Friday that ended their 19-game conference regular season winning streak and served as Lindsay Gottlieb’s first-ever loss to league foes from outside the state of California. The third-year coach had been 30-0.

Junior forward Reshanda Gray is averaging 16 points and seven rebounds, junior point guard Brittany Boyd (13 ppg, six rpg, 5.5 apg) is second in the nation with 3.5 steals per contest, and senior guard Afure Jemerigbe averages 10.5 points, but dropped 16 on the Sun Devils. The Bears' leading rebounder is 6-foot-3 freshman Courtney Range at nine per game, but she was limited to two in 17 minutes at ASU.

Former all-conference senior forward Gennifer Brandon returned from a 10-game leave for personal reasons on Jan. 5, but was only 1-of-3 in 23 minutes against the Sun Devils.

“We really have to find it within ourselves,” Wildcats 6-foot-2 senior Erica Barnes said. “We have to keep that positive insight and not be negative. We have different spurts in different games, if we put it all together we’ll be fine.”

Barnes was referring to her team starting out well in some games and fading, then beginning others poorly and closing out in style.

After Monday’s game, Arizona will be at No. 20 Colorado on Jan. 24 and Utah Jan. 26.

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