Nov. 12, 2010
Niya Butts' postgame radio interview.
WICHITA, Kan. - In the first official game of the 2010-11 season with a crowd of 4,036, the University of Arizona Wildcat women's basketball team topped the hosting Wichita State Shockers, 81-72, in overtime.
"Right now, we are enjoying this win," head coach Niya Butts said. "There were many places we could have folded and given up tonight but it didn't happen. We had four players score in double digits tonight and that just proves what kind of depth we are working with. It's very exciting to have all these options offensively. Erica Barnes really stepped up for us tonight. We have been waiting for a performance like this out her and she picked the right night to bring it. And this was her first collegiate game. It's very impressive."
Junior Shanita Arnold, freshman Erica Barnes and sophomore Davellyn Whyte led the Arizona scorers with 16 points each. Junior Brooke Jackson also chipped in with 15 points and five rebounds. Defensively, Barnes brought down 14 boards for the Wildcats, including 10 defensively, for her first career double-double. Freshman Candice Warthen also made her Wildcat debut, picking up four points, three rebounds and one assist.
Wichita State opened with 11-2 run in the first five minutes of play and extended their assault to a 16-4 run in the first seven minutes. Early in the first half, the Shockers' biggest lead stretched to 16 (20-4).
Arizona answered back with a 10-0 run to bring the score to 20-14 in favor of WSU. A lay-up by senior Soana Lucet cut the Wichita State lead to four (20-16). A made three-pointer by Brooke Jackson closed the UA gap to one point (WSU 20-19) and a lay-up by Candice Warthen gave UA its first lead of the game, 21-20 at the 3:50 mark.
WSU ended UA's 18 point run with a made free throw by Haleigh Lankster and a Chynna Turner jumper gave the Shockers a one-point lead. At the 2:24 mark, Erica Barnes tied the score at 23 with a made free throw. At halftime, the Shockers led the Wildcats, 32-27.
Wichita State mounted another strong run in the middle of the second half, picking up an 11-point lead. A 9-1 run in favor of the Shockers propelled their lead to 59-45 with less than eight minutes to play in regulation.
A 13-0 run by the Wildcats brought the score to 61-56 in favor of the Shockers. A made free throw by Arnold and a lay-up by Barnes cut the WSU lead to two (61-59) with 3:27 left in regulation. Another lay-up by Barnes cut the WSU lead to one (62-61).
With 1:45 to play, a made three pointer by Jackson tied game the game at 64. A defensive rebound by Lucet, a missed three by Jackson and a foul on Whyte fouled going to the hoop gave Arizona a 66-65 lead after two made free throws from Whyte.
A jumper made by WSU's Alicia Sanchez gave WSU a 67-66 lead with 39.6 to play. A Shocker foul brought Barnes to the charity stripe. She was 1-of-2 to tie the score at 67. Senior Ify Ibekwe racked up her fifth foul to send WSU's Jazimen Gordon to the line. She missed both attempts and a Barnes defensive rebound gave Arizona the ball back.
With time expiring, the Shockers missed two missed jumpers and a fouled was called on Lucet. Turner took to the charity stripe for WSU and she missed both attempts, forcing the overtime period.
Whyte opened the OT period with a made jumper, giving UA a 70-69 lead. The sophomore hit another jumper to stretch UA's lead to two (72-70). Jackson caught her second wind and in less than 30 seconds grabbed two steals, made a lay-up and hit two free throws to give UA a 76-70 lead with 1:47 to play.
With 1:26 to play, Arnold was fouled and sent to the line. She made one to push the score to 77-70. For the Shockers, Breanna Dawkins made a lay-up to cut the UA lead to five (77-72).
Arnold went back to the stripe with 56.1 to play and made both her free throws. A bad three from Wichita State and a Barnes defensive rebound gave UA the ball back and Barnes hit another lay-up to push the score to 81-72.
Jessica Diamond led the Wichita State scorers with 18 points. Defensively, Heather Robben pulled down six boards for the black and gold. Arizona outrebounded Wichita State, 56-48.
Arnold, Ibekwe, Jackson, Lucet and Whyte got the start for the Wildcats against the Shockers. Barnes got the most minutes off the bench with 32.
Arizona will return to the McKale Center on Mon., Nov. 15, for a contest against Northern Arizona at 7 p.m. MT.