Poor shooting, foul trouble leads to the Wildcat’s sixth straight loss
The Arizona Women’s basketball team lost their sixth game in a row, after facing their in-state rival NAU, in Flagstaff by a score of 84-66. The loss marks the sixth consecutive defeat for Arizona, dropping them to 2-6.
Barnes program has had a lot of difficulty to start off the 2017-18 season, and took another loss vs. a non-ranked, out of conference program. An unlucky trend seems to continue, where the Wildcats couldn’t seem make shots, or to play a complete game against an opponent with all cylinders firing.
Aside from the first quarter, Norther Arizona shot well on offense. Just like Long Beach State, San Diego State, and Loyola Marymount before, the Lumberjacks shot over 50% from the field, while the Cats’ only shot 35%. Other than sophomore Lucia Alonso, who was three for five from the field and had eight points, not one Wildcat player made more than half of their shots.
Meanwhile the Lumberjacks could not miss. Their leading scorer, point guard Olivia Lucero, was 4-for-4 from 3-point range, and finished the night with 23 points. NAU dominated the perimeter, and shot uncontested almost all night. 6 ‘1 Forward Kenna McDavis was also ice cold for the Lumberjacks, and had 12 points of her own from the three. When all was said and done, NAU went 8-for-13, 62% from downtown. On the contrary, Arizona had their worst 3-point shooting performance of the season and went 8-for-31.
Something that was not a problem beforehand also seemed to emerge against NAU for Arizona: foul trouble. Discipline was an issue for the Wildcats all night, and it ended up costing them valuable possessions, and points from the free throw line. Three Arizona players finished with four personal fouls, and the Wildcats gave 14 points to NAU off of free throws alone. Many fouls came in the fourth, as desperation attempts to regain possession, but NAU ended up converting on most of their opportunities at the charity stripe. By the end of the game, the only player who didn’t foul for the Wildcats was freshman Kiana Barkhoff, who played one minute.
On Sunday, junior Destiny Graham cited Arizona’s inability to play consistently through all 40 minutes as one of the main detriments for the team so far.
“When we lose, we either start strong and finish weak, or start weak and finish strong,” she said during a post-game press conference after the San Diego State loss.
The wildcats continued to follow that trend Thursday and only outscored the Lumberjacks in the first quarter.
Luckily, after an exhausting stretch of games on the road, there’s more time at home for the team to improve. The ‘Cats still have three weeks until conference play begins, and only have one away until their Pac-12 opener vs. Utah. Before then, the Wildcats are going to need to work a lot on shooting.
The team looks to end their long losing streak against another two-win team, on Dec. 14, when they play the New Mexico State Aggies at Mckale, with an early tipoff at 11:00 am.
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