Arizona gets another shot with ASU
A defeat on the road against rival No. 11 ASU puts Arizona in a sticky situation.
The Sun Devils (20-3, 9-2 Pac-12 Conference) come to town on Sunday and give the Wildcats an opportunity to redeem themselves after blowing a double-digit lead on Tuesday.
Arizona (4-18, 0-11) will have had four days to watch film and prepare for its second and final matchup against ASU.
“Playing the same opponent within the same week certainly helps in preparation,” UA head coach Niya Butts said. “You take a look at the first game and dissect it fully.”
Redshit junior guard Candice Warthen shoots a two point shot during Arizona's 84-72 loss against Oregon at McKale Center on Friday, Jan. 31.
After the Wildcats’ game against Oregon State on Feb. 2, players spoke on putting together a full game rather than one good half and one bad.
In the first ASU matchup, the team had a strong first half but struggled mightily in the second half. ASU outscored the Wildcats by a 34-10 margin in the second half.
It’s safe to say that’s not what Butts and her coaching staff anticipated when they made their halftime adjustments.
“We started the second half and didn’t play well on the defensive end,” Butts said in a press release. “We just seemed to fall apart in the second half.”
For Sunday’s game, Arizona has to get a better performance out of leading scorer Candice Warthen. Warthen finished with only three points on 1-10 shooting against ASU.
There’s no way Arizona will earn its first conference win on Sunday if Warthen isn’t on top of her game. Her energy and ability to score is what makes Arizona go. Not having Warthen at her best is like a car not having enough gas: It’s not going to get very far.
The Wildcats go as Warthen goes. It’s really that simple. Her production means that much more, since the team has merely seven active players and needs all the points it can get.
The upcoming ASU game can be seen in McKale Center or on the Pac-12 Networks at 1 p.m. MST.
Looking forward, the Wildcats have yet another tough game as they travel to Berkeley, Calif., to take on the Golden Bears. In its first matchup with Cal, Arizona lost 79-64 at home.
—Follow Roberto Payne @HouseOfPayne555