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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


W-hoops ready to tip-off season

After months of intense practicing, the women’s basketball team is hungry to play. The team will make its debut tonight at 7 in an exhibition against Western State College at McKale Center.

“We’ve had enough practice,” said sophomore Candice Warthen at a press conference on Monday.

“Oh really?” head coach Niya Butts jokingly interjected.

Smiling, Warthen replied, “It’s time to start playing now.”

After losing major scorers Soana Lucet and Ify Ibekwe, Butts is looking to fill that offensive void with a faster and more aggressive man-to-man defense, she said.

“I was worried about our scoring, how we were gong to replace that,” Butts said. “I think we’re going to be OK in that area, because a lot of shots we’re getting are pretty good. We’ve gotten a little bit more aggressive as far as how we’re going to play inside on the post, denying a little bit more, picking up a little sooner in terms of bringing the ball across half-court. Hopefully that’s going to create some opportunities for us to score.”

This season, Butts wants a more disruptive defense, and in practice the team has been focusing on rebounding.

This will be the Wildcats’ second meeting with the Mountaineers, who went 11-16 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference last season. In its last exhibition game with Western State, Arizona won 109-62.

“Ironically as a coach, I remember our slow start,” Butts said. “Once we settled down and started to play more aggressively, it made a huge difference for us. Hopefully we can get off to a fast start, and we know coming in you can’t take anybody for granted. You have to be ready to play.”

Considering tonight will be the first playing opportunity for both teams, Butts doesn’t have much information on the Mountaineers.
For her, it doesn’t matter.

“There’s not much film to watch, or see any of the new players or new tendencies of a new team,” Butts said. “When you have a situation like that, you really have to focus in on what you do versus what they do.”

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