Arizona women's basketball gets swept in Northern California
Turnovers hurt Wildcats in both games
The Arizona women’s basketball team (11-12, 3-9 Pac-12) lost Friday and Sunday on the road to No. 4 Stanford (21-2, 10-1) and No. 6 California (21-2, 11-1 Pac-12), respectively. The two losses extend the Wildcats’ losing streak to seven games and drops them in the conference standings to ninth.
On Friday, the Cardinal defeated the Wildcats 73-43 and shut down the Wildcats’ captain and leading scorer Davellyn Whyte, who finished 1-10 from the field, scoring six points and grabbing three rebounds in 31 minutes of action.
The six points ended Whyte’s 30-game streak of double-digit scoring. Whyte, who is the Pac-12’s active scoring leader with 1,958 points, was held to zero points in its previous matchup against Stanford on Feb. 4 2012, which was also the last time she was held under 10 points scoring.
However, after Friday’s game, Whyte set an Arizona record with her 119th career start tying her with Arizona Hall of Famer Dee Dee Wheeler.
Tyler Baker / Arizona Daily Wildcat UA's Women's Basketball lost Sunday afternoon to Washington State University at Mckale Center.
“She plays so hard and she’s always hitting the floor,” Arizona head coach Niya Butts said in a press release. “She’s banged up at the moment, but she will be OK.”
The Wildcats have labored all year with turnovers and finishing plays, and Friday was no different. Arizona shot 30.8 percent from the field and turned the ball over 19 times.
Defensively, the Wildcats were tough, forcing the Cardinal to a season-high 19 turnovers and kept Stanford’s shooting percentage at its season average of 46.3 percent.
“We didn’t play very well,” Butts said, “but we did some things defensively that I really liked. But we didn’t finish very well and we turned the ball over. You can’t beat a Stanford team if you can’t score.”
On Sunday, the Wildcats lost to California 91-86. Arizona but had its second highest scoring output of the season, but fell just short of making a last second upset on the road due to a its high turnover rate.
“We are disappointed, but I thought we battled,” Butts said in a press release. “We fought for 40 minutes. This was one of our better games.”
In what was the best shooting percentage game of the season for the Wildcats (50 percent), Arizona outscored the Golden Bears in the final 10 minutes 25-15 bringing the deficit closer, but in the end, Arizona ran out of time.
Whyte bounced backed against California, as she scored a season-high 26 points. Whyte also contributed by retrieving seven rebounds and dishing out eight assists.
Junior Kama Griffitts connected on five 3-point attempts for the Wildcats, and finished the game with 21 points. Griffitts has averaged 14 points per contest since making her return from undisclosed reasons on Jan. 25.
Just behind Whyte and Griffitts were junior forwards Erica Barnes and Alli Gloyd, both of whom finished with 14 points. Barnes also had five rebounds.
Even though the Wildcats found the bottom of the net, Arizona’s high turnover rates continued onto Sunday as the Wildcats finished the game with 21 turnovers to California’s 13. Defensively, Arizona couldn’t stop three Golden Bears from scoring 20-plus points. California junior Gennifer Brandon and senior Talia Caldwell led the Golden Bears with 22 points and 14 rebounds and 20 points and 12 rebounds, respectively.
“It was a tough way to lose, but I feel good about us moving forward,” Butts said. “If we play like this, we are going to win more than we lose.”
Arizona will look to end its losing streak on Friday as it hosts No. 21 Colorado.