Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Cats Drop Heartbreaker to No. 11/9 UCLA, 74-70
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: February 24, 2011
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Feb. 24, 2011

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TUCSON - Junior guard Shanita Arnold hit two three pointers in the last 24 seconds of play and junior guard Brooke Jackson just missed on a three with seven seconds to play but it wasn't enough as Wildcat women's basketball dropped a tough 74-70 decision to No. 11/9 UCLA at McKale Center on Thursday.

Arizona moves to 16-10 overall and 7-8 in conference play. The Bruins advance to 23-3 overall and 13-2 in conference action.

"Obviously, we're very disappointed with this loss but our team played well and fought for the entire 40 minutes," head coach Niya Butts said. "I think we understood what they were going to do the first time we played them. I thought today we handled it well. We only turned the ball over 13 times, however, probably four or five of those were at critical moments and I don't think that it was necessarily due to their press. Those were our errors we were making. Overall, I think we have improved in all areas of the game and we have to continue that against USC."

For the game, Arizona shot 52.2 percent from the field, 41.2 percent from behind the arc and 71.4 percent from the free throw line while UCLA shot 51.9 percent, 42.9 percent and 73.7 percent, respectively. The Bruins won the rebounding battle, 29-25, while Arizona had 13 turnovers to UCLA's 12.

Sophomore guard Davellyn Whyte was Arizona's leading scorer with 16 points, including 3-of-5 from three-point range and 5-of-7 from the charity stripe. She was one of five Wildcats to score in double digits with 13 points from senior forward Soana Lucet, 12 points each from senior forward Ify Ibekwe and Jackson, and 11 points from Arnold.

Whyte finished off her stat line with six rebounds, an assist and two steals. Lucet and Ibekwe led at the glass with seven boards each. Arnold dished out a near career high eight assists.

For UCLA, Doreena Campbell and Markel Walker were their leading scorers with 16 points each and they were two of five Bruins to score in double digits. Walker also chipped in with eight rebounds.

Arizona's starters on Thursday were Arnold, Ibekwe, Lucet, junior guard Reiko Thomas and Whyte. Jackson saw the most minutes off the bench with 27.

The Wildcats will play next when they host USC on Sat., Feb. 26, at 4 p.m. Saturday's game at McKale will also include Senior Day ceremonies for Arizona's senior class.

Niya Butts postgame UCLA.

Davellyn Whyte and Reiko Thomas postgame UCLA.

WB Welcome Coach Barnes