Nov. 11, 2011
Arizona opened the season with an 88-46 win at Georgia Southern on Friday. Junior guard Davellyn Whyte led all scorers with 17 points, including four three pointers. After a fourth-place finish just a year ago, the Wildcats were picked to finish ninth by the coaches and eighth by the media in the 2011-12 Pac-12 standings.
Arizona returns five letterwinners and welcomes six newcomers, including three true freshmen, for the 2011-12 season. Whyte, a two-time All-Pac-12 honoree, leads the Cats with her returning 15.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game from a year ago. Senior guard Shanita Arnold led UA in assists in 2010-11 with her 4.9 per game.
The Georgia State Panthers will open their season with a contest vs. Arizona. Earlier this week, the Panthers topped Young Harris in exhibition play, 67-49. Sophomore guard Kendra Long led the Panthers with 19 points, hitting five-of-nine three-point baskets, while senior forward Chan Harris had nine points, eight rebounds and two blocks.
In year two with head coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener, GSU returns six lettermen and three transfers from last year, while adding four freshmen to the mix. Four of the returnees all started for more than half the season and a fifth player started nine games in the second half of the season.
The Wildcats won their fourth-straight season opener in the Niya Butts era of head coaching with Friday night's victory over Georgia Southern, 88-46, at Statesboro's Hanner Fieldhouse. Arizona had a productive night shooting, going 53.4 percent from the field (31-58), 62.5 percent from behind the arc (15-24) and 68.8 percent from the charity stripe (68.8 percent). Six different Wildcat players made a three-point basket as Whyte and Arnold paced with four each.
In Arizona's two exhibition games, sophomore guard Candice Warthen averaged 16.5 ppg while dishing out 4.0 apg. Four players averaged in double figures as junior forward Cheshi Poston and sophomore forward Erica Barnes led at the glass with 7.5 rpg.
This weekend's games will mark a homecoming for a few members of the Arizona women's basketball family. Butts hails from Americus, Warthen and video coordinator Jaamal Rhodes are from Warrenton, athletic trainer Bryce Sorrier is a native of Statesboro and assistant coach Brandy Manning attended Clark Atlanta University.
Arizona women's basketball games can be heard live on KTUC AM 1400. All broadcasts will start 15 minutes prior to tip-off for the pregame show. Derrick Palmer (play-by-play) and Molly O'Mara (color) will call the action this season. Visit ArizonaWildcats.com for all of your live stats and video needs.