Women's basketball season ends in first round of Pac-12 tournament
The Arizona women’s basketball season ended Thursday afternoon, despite an impressive effort by senior guard Davellyn Whyte.
The 11th-seeded Wildcats (12-18) lost 66-48 to six-seed Utah (18-12) in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament.
“Obviously, this is a tough loss,” head coach Niya Butts said. “This was the third time playing Utah this year, and they were able to get the best of us. We just didn’t have enough punch to get it done.”
In her final game for Arizona, Whyte scored 23 points, had eight rebounds, six assists, two steals and one block.
Whyte finished her UA career with 2,059 points, No. 2 in school history and 4,244 minutes in 126 games.
The Utes were nearly unstoppable from behind the arc, scoring 12 threes, tying a Pac-12 record. UA had three 3-pointers.
Utah shot 44.8 percent from the field overall, compared to Arizona’s 34 percent. The Wildcats had 14 turnovers, while Utah had five.
Arizona did out rebound the Utes 36-28, though.
Utah junior forward Michelle Plouffe had a game high 24 points, including four 3-pointers and grabbed nine rebounds.
For the second game in a row, every Wildcat that saw action scored. Junior forward Erica Barnes had nine points and eight rebounds, senior forward Cheshi Poston had five points and two rebounds in her finale and junior guard/forward Kama Griffitts had four points and two boards.
Arizona swept the season series with the Utes, winning 62-58 on Jan. 18 in Utah and 61-52 on Feb. 17 in Tucson, which snapped an eight-game losing streak. The Wildcats closed the season with a five-game losing streak and lost 13 of its last 14.
Utah opened up the game by taking a 20-11 lead and led 43-29 at the half. After 20 minutes, the Utes already had 11 3-pointers, two short of the Pac-12 record.
“We’re a good shooting team, but that’s not something you expect to happen,” Utah head coach Anthony Levrets said.
UA cut the lead to ten, 48-38 with 11:50 left with a 9-0 run, but the Utes were too much for the struggling Wildcats.
This is the first time Arizona has gone winless at the conference tournament since 2008 and Utah’s first Pac-12 tournament win.
UA loses two seniors, Whyte and Poston.
“We have a couple of seniors that are going to be moving on,” Butts said in a press release. “We wish them well, but outside of that, we just have to go back to the drawing board.”
Arizona signed four high school players, three forwards and a guard. ESPN HoopGurlz has LaBrittney Jones as the No. 23 forward of the 2013 class, Dejza James as the No. 34 forward and forward Breanna Workman as the No. 71 forward.