March 3, 2012
TUCSON – Despite four players scoring in double figures, the University of Arizona Wildcat women’s basketball team dropped the final game of the regular season, 70-63, to the hands of Arizona State at McKale Center on Saturday. The Wildcats fell to 14-16 overall and 3-15 in league action. The Sun Devils moved to 19-10 overall and 10-8 in Pac-12 play.
“It’s disappointing to lose this game,” head coach Niya Butts said. “We were commanding in the first half but the second half, we came out a lot slower, and they made the plays to win. When they made the run early, we were able to respond and come back but when they made the run in the second half, we couldn’t come back.”
“Some of our issues this season come with the fact that we’re very young, and we haven’t figured out how to play for a full 40 minutes yet,” Butts said. “I know we can get better with time. It’s about getting stops at the end of the game and we haven’t been able to do that. We can’t afford to trade baskets. Arizona State managed to break the game open and we couldn’t come back from it.”
Junior guard Davellyn Whyte paced the Wildcats with 17 points and 11 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the season. She also had two steals in her 38 minutes of play. Freshman center Aley Rohde had 11 points and six rebounds while senior guard Shanita Arnold had 10 points, three rebounds and two assists. Sophomore guard Candice Warthen had 10 points, five rebounds and three assists while senior guard Reiko Thomas had three points, a season-high 10 rebounds and two assists.
The Wildcats gave up 18 turnovers, good for 16 ASU points. UA did win the battle of the boards, 42-35 and, in turn, collected eight second-chance points. UA left 11 points on the court in missing free throws. Arizona shot 42 percent from the field (21-50), 40 percent from three-point range (4-10) and 60.7 percent from the charity stripe (17-28).
For the Wildcats, the starting five included Arnold, sophomore forward Erica Barnes, Rohde, Thomas and Whyte. Warthen had the most minutes off the bench with 29.
For the Sun Devils, senior guard Alex Earl paced the squad with 14 points on 4-of-6 from behind the arc. ASU had three players score in double figures with senior forward Kali Bennett leading the squad at the glass with nine boards. ASU shot 39.1 percent from the field (25-64), 30.4 percent from three-point range (7-23) and 76.5 percent from the free throw line (13-17).
Arizona will find out who it will face in the opening round of the Pac-12 Tournament later this weekend. The Wildcats will be the No. 12 seed and will play at 2:15 p.m. PT on Wednesday, March 7.