Nov. 6, 2011
TUCSON –With five players scoring in double figures, including two off the bench, the University of Arizona Wildcat women’s basketball team routed Grand Canyon University, 81-54, in exhibition play at McKale Center on Sunday.
Sophomore guard Candice Warthen led all scorers with 15 points. She also grabbed three rebounds and handed out seven assists. Along with Warthen’s 15, freshman guard Erin Butler had 14, junior guard Davellyn Whyte had 13, junior guard Lindsey Fearing had 12 and sophomore forward Erica Barnes scored 10. Junior forward Cheshi Poston led Arizona at the glass with 10 boards while scoring nine points. Whyte also had eight steals.
“It was a good team win,” head coach Niya Butts said. “We played together, and had good energy off the bench. Shooting in the first half wasn’t as good as I would have liked but we finished strong. Our goal was to hold Grand Canyon to fifty-four points or less, and we did that. It was a good overall team effort.”
“The zone defense was good, but at the same time we got a little lazy, and we can’t have other teams getting those second chances,” Butts said. “One of the most important things for us was to cut down on turnovers from the last game, and we did that tonight. We also scored about twenty points of Grand Canyon’s turnovers. I think the offense that we are lacking from the loss of Ify Ibekwe and Soana Lucet will come in our defense. It shows a lot of promise.”
Barnes, freshman center Aley Rohde, Warthen, freshman guard Layana White and Whyte got the starting nod for the Wildcats. Fearing had the most minutes off the UA bench with 24 followed closely by Poston’s 23. Butler also played a solid 17 minutes. Fearing and Butler combined for 26 points and 5-of-11 from behind the arc.
Maylinn Smith led the Grand Canyon scorers with 13 points while chipping in with four rebounds. The Wildcats held the ‘Lopes to just 33.3 percent field goal shooting (21-63) and 17.6 percent from behind the arc (3-17). Arizona forced 31 turnovers out of GCU but got out-rebounded 52-45.
The Wildcats will officially open the season with non-conference matchups at Georgia Southern on Nov. 11 and at Georgia State on Nov. 13. For tickets to the women's basketball games, call 800-452-2287.