Nov. 26, 2010
CANCUN, Mexico - The University of Arizona Wildcat women's basketball team dropped its first contest of the 2010-11 season with an 87-78 loss to the No. 8/8 Texas A&M Aggies on Friday at the Cancun Thanksgiving Classic. The Wildcats fall to 4-1 as the Aggies advance to 4-0.
"Obviously, we're disappointed with this loss but our team fought hard tonight," head coach Niya Butts said. "We battled back time after time and without Ify Ibekwe, one of our best players, who was in foul trouble. I'm proud of our effort tonight. We have to come back again tomorrow to face another tough opponent in Bradley."
Sophomore Davellyn Whyte led the Arizona scorers with 16 points. She also grabbed six rebounds and dished out four assists. Whyte was one of five Wildcats to score in double digits: senior Ify Ibekwe (13), senior Soana Lucet (11), junior Shanita Arnold (15) and freshman Candice Warthen (14).
Arnold led the squad in assists with five and Ibekwe grabbed team-leading eight rebounds, including six on defense.
The Wildcats opened the first half with a 9-4 run and built their biggest lead to eight points. A 13-0 run by Texas A&M mid-way through the first half gave the Aggies their first and eventual half time lead. The teams entered the locker room with a half time score of 42-35, in favor of the Aggies.
Despite a 13-0 run by the Wildcats and three three-point buckets from Arnold in the second half, 11 turnovers cost the `Cats. Aiding the Wildcat offense against the Aggies was nearly perfect shooting from the charity stripe. Arizona shot 14-of-216 for 87.5 percent, including 2-of-2 from Whyte and four-of-four from Warthen.
For the fifth-straight game, Arnold, Ibekwe, junior Brooke Jackson, Lucet and Whyte got the start for Arizona. Warthen got the most minutes off the bench with 30.
Tyra White led the Aggies in shooting with 20 points and was one of five A&M players to score in double digits. She also grabbed seven boards.
Arizona will face Bradley on Saturday at 6:15 p.m. CT. Live video is available by visiting www.deportesquintanaroo.tv. For live stats and complete results from the Cancun Classic, visit ArizonaWildcats.com.
Niya Butts postgame vs. Texas A&M.