Seniors Kama Griffitts and Erica Barnes scored 16 and 15 points, but Wake Forest defeated Arizona women’s basketball, 70-58 on Tuesday at McKale Center.
Barnes was 9-of-10 from the free throw line, contributing to a team season-best 18-made free throws.
The crowd of 4,487 consisted of over 3,000 elementary and middle school students from around Tucson for Arizona’s annual field trip day.
“We had a great crowd,” Arizona head coach Niya Butts said. “Those guys up in the seats, I want to thank them, the teachers, the schools and our marketing department did a great job on putting together a great home atmosphere. We just didn’t have enough to get the win today, it was disappointing.”
Freshmen LaBrittney Jones and Ashley Merrill led the Wildcats in rebounding with eight and six, respectively. Jones also had a career-high three blocks.
The Demon Deacons led by a narrow margin most of the game, but went on a 12-0 run to take a 52-39 lead in the second half. The Wildcats came within six points at the 5:22 mark, but could not completely close the gap.
Dearica Hamby led Wake Forest with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
“We can’t hold our heads down,” Barnes said. “We have to keep pushing. We have to really stay together and execute our offense and know what we are doing on defense and communicate. I think once we get that together we will be fine.”
The Wildcats will hit the road again to Provo, Utah to take on BYU on Saturday, Nov. 30 at 2 p.m.
For complete results and continued coverage of Arizona women’s basketball, visit ArizonaWildcats.com, or follow on Twitter @ArizonaWBBall.
Head Coach Niya Butts
On the team’s performance:
“We had two bad halves of shooting. Defensively in the first half, we did an okay job. They scored 27 points, but the problem is we only scored 23. In the second half, I thought we made some mental errors and made a lot of mistakes. We hurt ourselves and it wasn’t so much the other team causing our issues.”
On what was said to the team after the game:
“We talked about moving forward. This one has to hurt, and we certainly have to give credit to Wake Forest. They came in on the road, in a tough environment and walked away with the win. At the same time, we had some instances where we were our own cause for our demise. We shot ourselves in the foot a number of occasions.”
On Candice Warthen’s performance:
“Obviously, she’s playing a lot of minutes. She’s going to be tired because she plays so hard. We will give her some rest, along with everyone else and recharge for the next game.”
On Kama Griffitts’ foul trouble limiting her strong performance:
“It certainly hurt because today was a day where we needed offensive production. To have her not be in the game for us offensively, it hurt. Kama goes in, gets two quick fouls right away on touches so she needs to give a little space. Those are just errors where we don’t play as smart as we should.”
Senior forward Erica Barnes
On her reaction after the game:
“I’m really surprised. I thought we were in it after the first half was over. I feel like we didn’t have the finish and didn’t keep pushing.”
On bouncing back after the loss:
“A lot is going through my mind right now, but bouncing back as a team, I feel like we just need to stay together and continue to keep pushing and grinding on the court and hopefully that will take over in a game. Most of all just stand together and execute plays.”
On the second half:
“I think once they pushed, we didn’t push back. That is something we are going to have to learn to do. “
On Kama’s foul trouble:
“She’s our shooter and we need her. It was tough, we need her.”
On her role off the bench:
“Hopefully I’ll get back in the starting lineup, but if not I can’t dwell on it. I just have to continue to do my job and keep pushing.”
On offensive focus in practice:
“We really focus (on offense) a lot, we just need to execute it in games.”
Junior guard Candice Warthen
On losing three-straight:
“It isn’t anything the other teams are doing. We are making on mistakes, digging our own holes, not fighting back. We just have to figure out how to fight back.”
On struggling to make shots:
“I know what I need to do. I need to get in the gym, get up shots and not be satisfied. I’m missing shots that I would normally make. I just have got to get more reps up, get in the gym and start knocking them down.”