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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


W-Hoops splits in Cancun

The Arizona women’s basketball team split two games in the Cancun Thanksgiving Classic with a win over Bradley University and a loss to No. 8 Texas A&M.

“”Obviously we’re disappointed with the loss, but our team fought hard tonight,”” head coach Niya Butts said of the loss to the Aggies. “”I’m proud of our effort tonight.

That was the No. 8 team in the country, and I think we deserve to be mentioned with some of the great teams.””

The Wildcats (5-1) fell 87-78 against A&M (4-0), but they were able to keep the game competitive despite senior forward Ify Ibekwe playing only 22 minutes due to foul trouble.

Arizona’s 21 turnovers made it difficult for the Wildcats to get over the hump toward the end of the contest, despite being fueled by a 13-0 run in the second half. Davellyn Whyte led all Arizona scorers with 16 points, and four other Wildcats scored in double-figures.

Junior guard Shanita Arnold shot 3-of-4 from 3-point range on her way to 15 points and a team-high five assists. Freshman guard Candice Warthen scored 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting in her first real test of the season.

Arizona was able to bounce back from the opening loss to A&M and down the Bradley Braves (3-3) 82-59 in the tournament finale.

“”We played a much better second half tonight than we did (against A&M),”” Butts said. “”We cut down on turnovers and had some key performances. Overall, I think we had a great tournament, but there’s still work to be done.””

Ibekwe bounced back nicely after having a rough opening game. She scored 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting in only 24 minutes. Freshman forward Erica Barnes added a quiet double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, five of which came on the offensive end.

Overall for the tournament, Arizona shot 80 percent from the charity stripe. Going into the tournament, Butts was concerned with free-throw shooting.

“”It was a solid two games of basketball even though we lost the first one,”” Butts said. “”The second one we came out in a much-needed win situation, and we took care of business. We move forward at 5-1, and you can’t beat that.””

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