March 1, 2013
TUCSON, Ariz. -
Four players scored in double figures, but Arizona women’s basketball (12-16, 4-13) fell to USC (9-19, 6-11), 74-62 on Friday night at McKale Center.
Junior Erica Barnes (Sacramento, Calif.) led the Wildcats with 15 points, while senior Carissa Crutchfield (Ft. Gibson, Okla.) had 13 and freshman Keyahndra Cannon (San Diego, Calif.) added 10.
Whyte also had nine assists and seven steals on a night where she was honored for becoming the second player in Arizona women’s basketball history to score 2,000+ points.
As a team, Arizona forced 18 turnovers and only committed 13, including zero in the second half.
“We came out the first half and didn’t do anything close to what we wanted to do, especially on defense,” Arizona Head Coach Niya Butts said. “That first half was a nightmare of a deal, but we came out in the second half and played much better. Ultimately, they made more plays than we did. We couldn’t close the deal tonight.”
In the first half, UA came out strong with two three-pointers, but USC went on a 17-1 run to create a 14-point deficit. Arizona went on short runs, but the Trojans answered and led, 39-26 at halftime.
The Wildcats came to play in the second half, executing two 8-0 runs and narrowing the score to within one at 51-50. USC responded and despite being outscored in the second half, closed out the game, 74-62.
Senior Christina Marinacci led USC with 16 points and 18 rebounds and junior Cassie Harberts added 23 points and 11 rebounds.
The Wildcats will close their regular season to host No. 16 UCLA Bruins for senior day at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 3.
“We know we can’t stay still,” Butts said. “We have to keep going and keep working to get better. That’s what we’re going to do as both a team and staff. We have one more home game for our seniors on Sunday and we’re going to try and put them in a position to win.”
For complete results and continued coverage of Arizona women’s basketball, please visit www.ArizonaWildcats.com, or follow @ArizonaWBBall on Twitter.
Head Coach Niya Butts
“We came out the first half and didn’t do anything close to what we wanted to do, especially on defense. That first half was a nightmare of a deal, but we came out in the second half and played much better. Ultimately, they made more plays than we did. We couldn’t close the deal tonight.”
On game-plan now:
“We have found a way to lose a game in every way we possibly can and that’s very frustrating. It’s one of those things where we make runs, but can’t finish the game. It’s a tough spot, but we’re not in the place we want to be. We know we can’t stay still; we have to keep going and keep working to get better. That’s what we’re going to do as both a team and staff. We have one more home game for our seniors on Sunday and we’re going to try and put them in a position to win.”
On what went wrong tonight:
“There was physical play that we needed and didn’t have. You look at the opportunities we have with the ball and it becomes really difficult, because we know what we can do, but we haven’t been able to finish with those opportunities. We talked about our turnover ratio at the end of the game. The difference in our first half and our second half is that we dug ourselves too big of a hole, even though we got on runs and hit shots. We had a much better second half; we actually won in the second half. We worked so hard and got the score within one possession and we gave up one three to put our momentum back to the first half.”
No. 4 Guard Carissa Crutchfield
On the loss:
“We can take what we learn from this game and push it over to the next one.”
“We have to keep being aggressive on the boards. Everyone can rebound and help out.”
On four players in double figures:
“The more help you have, the easier it is. Having everyone shooting and being aggressive is a great thing.”
On effort to be consistent:
“If we have that attack mentality in being aggressive, that can help out a lot.”
No. 23 Forward Erica Barnes
On the loss:
“It’s tough, but we can’t dwell on this because we play UCLA on Sunday. We have to prepare and be ready.
On effort to be consistent:
“We just need to play together and all be on the same page.”