Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Women's Hoops Falls at USC, 81-72
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: January 27, 2011
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Jan. 27, 2011

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LOS ANGELES, Calif. - University of Arizona Wildcat women's basketball dropped a contest, 81-72, at the hands of the USC Trojans Thursday night in Los Angeles' Galen Center. The Wildcats fall to 13-6 overall and 4-4 in Pac-10 play. USC moves to 13-6 overall and 5-3 in conference action.

"We're obviously disappointed with tonight's outcome," head coach Niya Butts said. "I thought we had a good first half defensively but couldn't get anything going offensively. In the second half, we got our offense going but couldn't get the defensive stops we needed. When you're trading baskets and you're already down, it's hard to win a basketball game. We need to bounce back from this and get ready to play at UCLA on Saturday."

Sophomore guard Davellyn Whyte paced the Wildcats with 20 points, six rebounds and two assists. Senior forward Ify Ibekwe picked up her seventh double-double of the season and her second in as many games with 16 points and 10 boards. Senior forward Soana Lucet with 16, junior guard Shanita Arnold with 10 and junior guard Brooke Jackson with 10 also chipped in with double-digit scoring.

Arizona and USC matched basket-for-basket in the second half with the Wildcats coming as close as five points. Strong shooting all around carried the Trojans' offensive attack but the Wildcats cut down the turnovers dramatically with only three in the second half.

For the game, USC out-rebounded Arizona, 42-28. The Women of Troy also blocked five of Arizona's shots. USC put together a balanced offensive front with 49.2 percent from the field and 72.7 percent from the free throw line to Arizona's 38.8 percent from the field and 100.0 percent from the charity stripe.

In the first half, Arizona was plagued by 13 turnovers, nine fouls and saw its struggles shooting. From the field, the Wildcats were 7-of-27 for 25.9 percent. USC was only slightly better at 40.7 percent (11-of-27). Six-of-six from the charity stripe and seven steals kept Arizona in it for the first 20 minutes of play.

For the Women of Troy, Briana Gilbreath was the leading scorer with 20 points. She also chipped in with nine rebounds. USC had just three players score in double-digit figures. Christina Marinacci was also a force at the glass with nine boards.

The starting five for Arizona were junior guard Shanita Arnold, Ibekwe, Lucet, freshman guard Candice Warthen and Whyte. Jackson got the most minutes off the bench with 23.

The Wildcats will play next at No. 11/10 UCLA on Sat., Jan. 29, at 2 p.m. PT/3 p.m. MT.

Niya Butts postgame at USC

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