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Saturday, April 19, 2014 | Last updated: 11:48am

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Wildcats drop eighth game in a row, at Utah



Two more Pac-12 conference losses have put the Arizona women’s basketball team (4-15, 0-8) in a dubious spot. The team is tied for its worst start in conference play since the 2007-08 season, when Arizona also started 0-8.

On Sunday the Utah Utes (9-10, 2-6) beat the Wildcats 60-57 in Salt Lake City.

The defeat marks the 11th time this season in which the Wildcats have lost by 10 or fewer points. Their late-game execution has been a large part in all of the close losses this season.

Their inability to execute down the stretch foiled what was a valiant comeback attempt by the Wildcats against Utah. In the last four minutes of the game, Arizona went 2-for-10 from the field and scored only four points.

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By Chris Ayers / Arizona Daily Wildcat
Courtesy of Chris Ayers/ The Daily Utah Chronicle Senior forward Erica Barnes catches the ball during Arizona's 60-57 loss against Utah at Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Senior guard Kama Griffitts led Arizona with 13 points, but junior guard Candice Warthen led the late surge by scoring 10 of her 12 points in the second half.

Even though Warthen and Griffitts combined to score 25 points, it was ineffective. The duo shot 10-26 from the field for 38.5 percent.

By comparison, the rest of the Wildcats were much more efficient, as they shot 14-for-30 from the field for 46.7 percent.

Utah senior forward Michelle Plouffe scored a game-high 20 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Plouffe scored eight of Utah’s final nine points to close out the game.

On Friday, the short-handed Arizona squad traveled to Boulder, Colo., and lost to the Colorado Buffaloes (12-7, 2-6) with a score of 68-47.

Arizona battled early and held a one-point lead with 13:56 left in the first half. However, the Buffaloes took the lead about 30 seconds later and didn’t give it up for the rest of the game.

“Once [Colorado] made a run, I feel like we should’ve pushed back harder,” UA freshman forward Breanna Workman said.

Arizona’s 20 turnovers played a large part in its failure to regain momentum and led to Colorado scoring 24 points off those turnovers. Five out of the seven Wildcats who suited up had three or more turnovers.

“We would rebound the basketball on second-chance opportunities, and then just turn it right back over,” UA head coach Niya Butts said. “We didn’t do a very good job of taking care of the basketball, and we didn’t finish very well.”

Colorado forward Jen Reese scored a game-high 22 points and the Buffaloes had three players in double figures.

Looking forward, the Wildcats return home to face Oregon on Friday and Oregon State on Sunday.

—Follow Roberto Payne @HouseOfPayne555


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