Women’s basketball loses two overtime games to open season

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Ryan Revock

Ryan Revock/ The Daily Wildcat Candice Warthen shoots a layup against Fort Lewis on Nov. 2 at the McKale Memorial Center.

Roberto Payne

Consecutive overtime losses for the Arizona women’s basketball team put a damper on the UA’s opening weekend at the Iona College Tip-Off tournament.

The Wildcats lost 82-75 in overtime to Iona on Friday and 73-71, also in overtime, to Michigan on Saturday in New Rochelle, N.Y. Arizona trailed 32-26 at the half against Michigan and fought back to force overtime in a game where four UA players scored in double-digits. Leading the way for Arizona was senior forward Kama Griffitts and junior guard Candice Warthen. The duo combined for 39 points, 13 assists and 7 rebounds. The Wildcats allowed Michigan to connect on nine three-pointers and UM was 9-for-18 from beyond the arc, including two critical 3-pointers in the OT period.

Michigan guard Shannon Smith scored 21 points for the Wolverines, including four of the team’s nine three-pointers.

“We have to work on finishing close games,” said UA head coach Niya Butts in a press release. “The sooner we can get back on the floor, the better.”

Arizona played both games without senior forward Erica Barnes, who is nursing an injury, and senior forward Alli Gloyd, who is out for the season with a torn ACL. On Friday, the short-handed Arizona Wildcats could not stop Iona guard Damika Martinez and forward Joy Adams from scoring, as the two combined for 57 of the host school’s 82 points.

“Obviously, it was a disappointing loss,” Butts said. “We took control in the second half and we did a lot of good things to get that lead, but put them on the foul line and they didn’t miss. We didn’t hit anything down the stretch from the foul line and they hit a really tough shot at the end to send it into overtime.”

Four Arizona players scored in double-figures to keep the Wildcats in the game. Warthen played 42 minutes and led Arizona with 22 points, 4 assists and 3 steals in the loss.

Arizona takes the floor next at UC Santa Barbara on Saturday and its home opener is Nov. 20 against Stephen F. Austin.

— Follow Roberto Payne @RPsportreporter