W-Hoops splits Bahamas trip
John Routh / Arizona Daily Wildcat
UA vs. Grand Canyon University women’s basketball
The Arizona women’s basketball team competed in the Junkanoo Jam in The Bahamas over Thanksgiving weekend. The Wildcats lost to UTEP in the first game by a score of 64-53 on Friday, but won the second game against Texas Southern 65-59 on Saturday to improve their overall record to 4-2.
Arizona entered the Junkanoo Jam with a 3-1 record and was looking to rebound after its 14-point loss on Nov. 20 against BYU.
In their first game, against the UTEP Miners, the Wildcats struggled to capitalize on their offensive opportunities. The Wildcats turned the ball over 25 times and only shot 31.6 percent from the field.
“The story of the game for us was turnovers, and when we did have offensive possessions, we couldn’t hit shots,” head coach Niya Butts said in a press release. “We missed some pretty easy shots and layups, 15-foot jump shots — we couldn’t get anything going offensively and eventually, that took a toll on us defensively.”
Senior guard Davellyn Whyte played all 40 minutes for the Wildcats and finished with 19 points and seven assists. Junior guard Kama Griffits finished with a career-high 10 rebounds and also contributed with nine points. But in the end, the 25 turnovers proved to be too much, as the Wildcats couldn’t make a comeback.
“Obviously, the outcome wasn’t what we wanted it to be,” Butts said. “We didn’t get enough stops early in the game and we didn’t get any stops down the stretch.”
In the Wildcats’ game against Texas Southern, Arizona once again suffered 25 turnovers, but shooting was less of an issue as the Wildcats hit 52.1 percent of their shots in defeating the Lady Tigers.
Junior transfer forward Alli Gloyd had another breakout game as she led the Wildcats with 19 points.
Whyte scored 11 points for her 16th consecutive game scoring in double-figures, a streak she began last season.
“Obviously anytime you get a win, you want to be satisfied with that,” Butts said. “We need to clean up some things in terms of turnovers, but as for shooting the ball, we shot it a lot better.”
Arizona led 19-2 to start the game. Gloyd matched her career high in the first half with 12 points as the Wildcats led 43-36 through intermission. However, Texas Southern closed the gap in the second half by cutting the lead to three, but Arizona never trailed in the game and finished with a 6-point victory.
“It was an ugly game,” Butts said. “We got a big lead, got in foul trouble so we had to play zone and just did some different things for us that were a little strange, but at the end of the day, we had people step up for us and make plays.”