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Team Effort Lifts Cats over WSU, 90-51
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 02/16/2012
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Feb. 16, 2012

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TUCSON -With 53.1 percent shooting from the field for the game and four players in double figures, the University of Arizona Wildcat women's basketball broke an eight-game losing streak and added one to the win column Thursday night with a 90-51 victory over the Washington State Cougars. UA moved to 14-12 overall and 3-11 in Pac-12 play on the season. WSU fell to 10-16 overall and 4-10 in league action.

"Obviously, it was a good win, a good feeling," head coach Niya Butts said. "I think this was the most complete game we've played all season. We had 40 minutes of solid defense and good offense scoring 90 points for the first time since last season. Everyone did a great job and we needed it. The kids needed it, we as coaches needed it, and the fans needed it. It was fight to win, or fold and die, and we came out to win it, so I didn't mind some of the more physical calls in the paint. I hope we can carry this feeling into Sunday."

"Having the extra day is probably good for us because the way we ran tonight is the way we want to run against Washington on Sunday," Butts said. "We're going to rest our legs, take this win, and get ready for the next game."

Arizona scored 90 points for the first time since March 17, 2011, in the opening-round WNIT game at Utah State. The previous season high was 88 points at Georgia Southern on Nov. 11. The Wildcats were paced by freshman guard Erin Butler's 21 points on 8-of-11 from the field and 5-of-8 from behind the arc. She also had four rebounds in her 24 minutes of play.

Butler was one of four Wildcats to score in double figures with 19 points from junior guard Davellyn Whyte, 13 points from freshman center Aley Rohde and 10 points from freshman Layana White. Whyte also had 11 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season to go with her six assists and two steals. Senior guard Shanita Arnold had six points, three rebounds, nine assists, one block and one steal.

UA shot 53.1 percent from the field (34-64), 52.4 percent from three-point range (11-21) and 91.7 percent from the free throw line (11-12). The Cats had 29 assists on 34 makes with at least one assist from seven of the 10 players who logged minutes. Arizona also won the battle at the boards, 51-33, while scoring 20 second-chance points.

For Arizona, the starting five included Arnold, Butler, Rohde, White and Whyte. Sophomore forward Erica Barnes had the most minutes off the bench with 23. She had six points, three rebounds, two blocks and one assist. Also off the bench, senior Reiko Thomas had five points, nine rebounds, four assists and one steal.

For Washington State, Brandi Thomas had 14 points and three rebounds. The Cougars shot 26.6 percent from the field (17-64), 15.4 percent from three-point range (4-26) and 56.5 percent from the charity stripe (13-23). WSU gave up 11 rebounds, good for 14 Arizona points.

The Wildcats will host Washington at 3 p.m. on Sunday. The game will be nationally televised on FSN.

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