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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Women’s basketball falls to Stephen F. Austin

Lili Steffen
Lili Steffen / The Daily Wildcat UA senior guard Carissa Crutchfield shoots a jump shot against Stephen F. Austin on Wednesday at the McKale Center.

A second-half offense that sputtered resulted in a 60-56 defeat for Arizona women’s basketball at the hands of the Stephen F. Austin team in the regular season home opener.

An 11-point Arizona lead at half time was not enough to fend off the advances of the Ladyjacks.

“[I’m] obviously very disappointed with the outcome,” said UA head coach Niya Butts. “[If] you don’t defend in the second half and you don’t score, it’s going to be tough to beat anybody. We didn’t do nearly enough, especially in the second half.”

Arizona started the game with a hot shooting first half in which the Wildcats shot 53.6 percent from the field. However, the team shot merely 18.5 percent from the field in the second half. No Wildcat scored a field goal after senior guard Kama Griffitts made a three-pointer with 7:34 left to go in the second half.

“We didn’t execute our plays,” said junior guard Candice Warthen. “We can talk about [execution] at practice. We just know when and where to be at the right times.”

The Ladyjacks ramped up their defensive intensity in the second half, as they allowed only five total second-half field goals for Arizona. Add in the timely shooting of SFA junior guard Brittney Matthew and senior forward Antionette Carter and the game got out of reach quickly. Matthew and Carter combined to score 28 of the team’s 60 points and converted three of the team’s four three-pointers.

UA junior guard Candice Warthen scored 13 points in the first half on 5-for-8 shooting before scoring only two points on 0-11 shooting in the second half. Stephen F. Austin made a concerted effort in the second half to pay closer attention to Warthen and UA senior guard Carissa Crutchfield picked up some of the scoring burden.

Crutchfield finished the game with 15 points, including eight of the team’s 21 second half points.
Bench scoring was another huge factor, as the Ladyjacks held a 25-8 advantage over the Wildcats in that category. Butts said the team needs to give a better effort from both the bench and the starters.

“Our bench, our first five, everybody just needs to give more,” Butts said. “Giving up 60 points is enough to get a win, the problem is when we go 5-27 [from the field] in the second half and we don’t get anything.”

The Wildcats play next on Saturday at 6 p.m. MST against the University of the Pacific Tigers in Stockton, Calif., before returning to Tucson to take on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on Tuesday at 11 a.m.

“We’ll come back,” Crutchfield said after the game. “We’ll focus and practice right. … We go on the road and just play together.”

— Follow Roberto Payne @RPsportreporter

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