Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Oregon Offense Too Much for Cats, 87-73
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: January 12, 2012
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Jan. 12, 2012

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TUCSON - Facing a game-high deficit of 21 points, the University of Arizona Wildcat women's basketball team was unable to dig itself out of a first-half hole and fell to Oregon, 87-73, in Eugene on Thursday night. The Cats moved to 12-4 overall and 1-3 in Pac-12 play. The Ducks moved to 10-7 overall and 2-3 in Pac-12 conference action.

"Give credit to Oregon because they shot extremely well in the first half and we weren't able to defend," head coach Niya Butts said. "It's tough to give up that many points and dig yourself out of a hole like we were faced with. We just didn't have enough in us to finish. We were able to close the gap a few times but we couldn't get stops when we needed them most."

"We had some players step up and get quality minutes that haven't played in a while," Butts said. "Erin Butler was a huge lift for us offensively. Any time you can get that type of production from a kid who hasn't played in seven or eight games, that's pretty good. But we have to play just as well offensively and defensively. I was happy with how Layana White and Cheylene Harper played tonight. Tonight's game gave our post players some different match-ups and Oregon played a lot of perimeter offense. Not having Reiko Thomas tonight hurt us most mentally because we had some people step up in her place."

Freshman guard Erin Butler led all scorers with 23 points off the Arizona bench. She shot 8-12 from the field and 7-of-10 from three-point range. UA had four players score in double digits as senior guard Shanita Arnold collected 17, junior guard Davellyn Whyte with 15 and sophomore forward Erica Barnes had 11. With her 10 assists, Arnold recorded her first double-double in an Arizona uniform, and with her 12 rebounds, Barnes had her sixth double-double of the season.

The Cats shot 32.8 percent from the field (22-67), 34.2 percent from behind the arc (13-38) and 88.9 percent from the free throw line (16-18). Arizona had 17 assists while giving up 16 turnovers. UA scored 17 points on 15 Oregon turnovers but just two second-chance points.

The starting five for Arizona included Arnold, Barnes, junior guard Lindsey Fearing, freshman center Aley Rohde and Whyte. Butler had the most minutes off the bench with 32. Senior guard Reiko Thomas did not play because of illness.

For Oregon, freshman guard Lexi Petersen was the leading scorer with 17 points on 9-of-10 from the charity stripe and 4-of-8 from the field. The Ducks had five players scoring at least 11 points and all nine of the Ducks who played scored at least one point. Freshman Liz Brenner paced UO at the glass with 11 boards.

Oregon shot 44.4 percent from the field (28-63), 46.2 percent from behind the arc (12-26) and 79.2 percent from the free throw line (19-24). The Ducks saw 40 points come from the bench and 15 second-chance scores.

The Wildcats will play next at Oregon State on Sat., Jan. 14. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. PT/3 p.m.

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