W-Hoops drops first game of season to BYU
After opening the season on a three-game winning streak, BYU broke it for the second straight year as the Arizona women’s basketball team fell to the Lady Cougars 62-48 on Tuesday at McKale Center.
“Certainly it was a disappointing outcome for us,” head coach Niya Butts said. “We didn’t do anything defensively we wanted to do and I couldn’t recognize the team on the floor, to be honest with you.“
BYU’s center, Jennifer Hamson, who stands 6-foot-7, was dominant in recording a double-double with 23 points and 14 rebounds.
“When the guards would drive in and get stuck, all they had to do is lob it to her to bail themselves out of trouble,” junior transfer forward Alli Gloyd said.
Hamson alone made up 32 percent of the Cougars’ rebounds as Arizona fell short on the boards 35-43.
“The big kid was an intimidating force on the inside,” Butts said. “However, we weren’t aggressive and we didn’t attack. Offensively we should have gotten anything we wanted.”
A mixture of poor shots, not running the ball and not keeping up on transitions proved to be major issues for the Wildcats from tipoff, which Butts said was embarrassing.
“I hope a loss like this helps [wake them up] because if it doesn’t, then we are in trouble,” Butts said.
The Wildcats ended the first half trailing BYU 21-28, which is the team’s lowest score going into halftime so far this season. This also marked the first time Arizona trailed an opponent after the first half this season.
Arizona’s largest lead came in the first half with four points with 15:01 remaining. Arizona took its last lead of the game in the last six minutes of the first half.
“We weren’t mentally prepared for it,” senior guard Davellyn Whyte said. “We had the scout, we had everything we needed, but just when we came out and they executed their plays so well … It was kind of tough and kind of frustrating because it was like what do you do. So they got the couple early buckets and we just couldn’t pick it up after that.”
Even double-digit scoring performances by Whyte, Gloyd and junior forward Erica Barnes couldn’t help the Wildcats dig out of the double-digit rut.
Whyte led Arizona with 12 points, followed by Gloyd and Barnes with 11 and 10, respectively. The Arizona trio made up about 69 percent of the Wildcats’ points, but offensively there were only a few spurts of the team that defeated Cal State Northridge on Saturday.
“We played really good defensive last game,” Whyte said. “It just wasn’t here today, so we just need to be more consistent with our defensive performance.”
- Iman Hamdan can be reached via Twitter @imanhamdanDW