The Arizona women’s basketball team lost to Long Beach State in California on Sunday, 71-61, marking its third loss of the season.
Turnovers have been an issue for the Wildcats all season, and they didn’t improve against the 49ers.
“I’m really disappointed in our play, overall,” head coach Niya Butts said. “We shot 17 percent in the second half, they outrebounded us by a huge margin, we turned it over 21 times — we forced 28, but we turned it over 21 times.”
What seemed like it would be an easy win for Arizona quickly turned into a scramble to tie the score in the second half.
The Wildcats led by as many as 14 points in the first half, only to turn around and allow Long Beach State to go on a 9-0 run in the opening minutes of the second half.
“They made a run in the second half and at the end of the first half, but we turned it over,” Butts said. “We didn’t get any offensive production. We came out in the second half and just weren’t ready. They hit some shots and we didn’t respond to it.”
With 15 minutes remaining in the second half, the 49ers took their first lead of the game, giving the team the momentum it needed to seal Arizona’s fate.
“Basketball is a game of runs,” Butts said. “In the locker room, that’s what we talked about. We needed to come out and play with more intensity in the second half. We played a great 15 minutes of basketball. We gave up too many three’s, but other than that, I thought the first half was pretty solid. We came out in the second half and didn’t have any fight.”
The only two Wildcats to score in double digits were senior guard Davellyn Whyte, with 17 points, and junior forward Erica Barnes, with 11 points. Whyte also led the team in steals with eight, while not a single Arizona player brought down double digits in rebounding.
The poor performance on both the offensive and defensive boards led the 49ers to outrebound Arizona 43-27, marking the Wildcats’ highest rebounding deficit to an opponent so far this season.
Arizona falls to 5-3 as it enters the last game of its away game stretch on Dec. 8. The Wildcats will travel to Albuquerque, N.M., to take on New Mexico before returning home for two games.