W-Hoops notes: size does apparently matter
Arizona women's basketball falls to a giant
In a 62-48 loss to BYU on Tuesday afternoon, the Arizona women’s basketball team fell to 3-1, and did so facing some considerable size.
The Cougars’ starting lineup included 6-foot-2 senior forward Keilani Unga and 6-foot-7 junior center Jennifer Hamson. Until Tuesday, the Wildcats had yet to face an opponent with a frontcourt that had a player with such a noticeable size advantage. In combination with another poor shooting night, the Wildcats didn’t show up on either side of the ball to play in a game what Arizona head coach Niya Butts called an “embarrassment.”
“Having that size down low definitely helps BYU but we didn’t dictate what they did offensively,” Butts said. “In some ways I think it was mental. We see a kid that size on the court and we allow it to effect us.”
While Hamson is no Britney Griner (6-foot-8 Baylor center), she and the rest of the Cougars’ forwards were able to use their size to expose a possible weakness in the Wildcats roster. After 6-foot-5 freshmen Aley Rhode chose to transfer from Arizona to UNLV last season, the Wildcats were left with a considerable hole in their roster. At 6-foot-2, junior and senior forwards Erica Barnes and Cheshi Poston are the tallest players on the Wildcats roster. Along with 6-foot-1 junior forward Alli Gloyd, the trio will be asked for a lot by the Arizona coaches in protecting the paint against some of the Pac-12 most notorious forwards.
In the first half Hamson played a big role in the Cougars seven point halftime lead and she had 10 minutes of playing time and recorded six points and five rebounds. “Anytime you got a girl that’s 6-foot-7 it’s going to be tough,” Gloyd said after the game. “And it was tough. Every time we would stop the guards they could bail out by lobbing it up to her.”
Davellyn Whyte appears healthy
During Saturday’s victory against Cal State Northridge, senior captain Davellyn Whyte would be helped off the court twice by trainers after an apparent leg injury.
On Tuesday the guard played her usual 30 plus minutes, but took fewer shots than normal, going 4-of-10 from the field. Whyte was not available for comment following the Northridge game but after Tuesday’s lost Whyte called the leg injury “just a scare” and didn’t appear to think it was a big deal.
Through four games now Whyte is the Wildcats’ leading scorer and passer, averaging 16.3 points and 3.7 assist per game.