Dec. 20, 2012
TUCSON, Ariz. -
Four players scored in double-digits and the Arizona women’s basketball (8-3) defeated Longwood (3-7), 86-68 on Thursday evening at McKale Center. The game marked the last one in the Wildcats’ non-conference season.
Senior Davellyn Whyte (Phoenix, Ariz.) led the team with a season-high 25 points. She also added six rebounds and four steals for Arizona.
Two additional Wildcats scored in double-figures, as junior Kama Griffitts (Coeur d’Alene, Idaho) posted 21, junior Erica Barnes (Sacramento, Calif.) had 12 and junior Carissa Crutchfield (Ft. Gibson, Okla.) added 10.
Crutchfield also added a season-high eight assists and senior Cheshi Poston (Chicago, Ill.) led Arizona with 11 rebounds.
As a team, UA outrebounded the Lancers, 47-31, and scored 29 points off of 17 turnovers.
“We hit shots early,” Arizona head coach Niya Butts said. “We were able to shoot a good percentage in the first half and get a comfortable lead. We obviously got a little relaxed after that and started to do nothing defensively, allowing them to score easy baskets. We know moving forward that we can’t have that.”
In the first half, Arizona came out strong, shooting 52.9 percent (18-of34), including a 58.3 (7-of-12) mark from the three-point line. In addition, the Wildcats shot 8-for-9 from the free-throw line. Griffitts had 13 points in the first half, Whyte 12 and Barnes 10.
In the second half, the Lancers went on a 12-0 run to narrow the score, but UA maintained the lead and finished the game, 86-68.
The Wildcats will open their conference season at Washington State and Washington on Jan. 4 and 6.
For complete results and continued coverage of Arizona women’s basketball, visit ArizonaWildcats.com or follow @ArizonaWBBall.
Head coach Niya Butts
“The best thing about that game is that we won. We played pretty good basketball for 20 minutes then we started letting down and getting comfortable being ahead. They did a good job of continuing play and pushing the tempo and were able to score easy baskets. We know moving forward that we can’t have that. But at the end of the day we’re going to enjoy this time we have with our families and come back and prepare for the Pac-12.”
On what team did that was most successful:
“We hit shots early. We were able to shoot a good percentage in the first half and get a comfortable lead. We obviously got a little relaxed after that and started to do nothing defensively, allowing them to score easy baskets. We had to put the starters in at the end of the game and I didn’t want to have to do that.”
On time out after easy layup by Longwood:
“I wasn’t really happy. We had a comfortable lead after that, however, leads come and go so easily in this game. It’s a game of runs and I know that after a team gets momentum, everybody gets hot and gets confident and makes plays. To me, it wasn’t because we were giving our best effort and they were still doing that, it was because we weren’t giving any effort at all. I was most upset about that.”
On preseason play:
“I think we are getting people to play at the pace we want. We want a quick tempo. We want to make them take quick shots. Every game we are getting better at that. We have to do a much better job of rebounding out of that. Hopefully, they don’t make as many [shots] as they did tonight. We got them to take quick shots early, but they also made those shots.
On being able to outrebound Longwood University:
“We wanted to out-rebound them by 20, so we were four short of our goal. We understand how important rebounding is. It has been a weakness of ours since I’ve been here. This year we are doing a little bit better rebounding the basketball. What we are doing better is turning people over. Today wasn’t a true indication of that. Last game we had 33 turnovers. We are probably averaging 20 plus, so if we can continue that, that can offset our rebounding. However, we do have to maintain that.
On the potential of Kama Griffitts being a matchup problem:
“We ran her a couple of plays in the beginning, a post up option for the guards, to get her some looks in the paint because she is really good with her back to the basket. We also want to get her to be a bigger post player so she can hit the three. She is going to present some match up problems. We just have to make sure we capitalize in those situations.”
On Griffitts future:
“It’s about game experience. We won’t really know how it will all play out until we get into Pac-12 play. Kama is a really good kid. She has been able to take every challenge that I’ve thrown at her and has done well with it. I am pretty sure she will be ready.”
On Alli Gloyd:
“I’ve been really pleased with Ali. She probably thinks about the game too much. We want her to react more. She has high energy, which we like. She is a warrior. With the minutes she’s playing you can see how much we think she can help us.”
Junior Kama Griffitts
On fitting in with team:
"It's still and adjustment and it's pretty tough. Coach Butts stresses defense and that's something that's really important to her and that is one aspect of my game that I need to improve on."
On tonight's success:
"Today my teammates drove and found me open and I just knocked down my shots."
On matchup problems for opposing teams:
"I'm a bigger guard so I can post up smaller guards. If that happens it can be really helpful for us."
On playing with Davellyn Whyte:
"I love playing with Davellyn. We both give each other a lot of energy and feed off each other. I feel like I know what she's going to do before she does it so I try to prepare for that and just play off of her."
On improving defense:
"I need to have quicker feet and I need to put myself in better position. I need to always be on my toes and stay ready."