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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Offense firing on all cylinders

The Arizona women’s basketball team made a statement on Sunday with a 109-62 win over Western State College: the Wildcats can’t wait to show off their new offense in a game that counts in the standings.

“”Offensively, it went real good tonight,”” said sophomore guard Davellyn Whyte after scoring 28 points on 10-of-17 shooting. “”When teams play a zone, it’s hard because we have shooters on the outside. Then if they guard (the shooters), then the inside’s open. We just got inside tonight after we started shooting.””

Arizona’s new up-tempo offense was in full display against Western State, and junior guard Shanita Arnold, a transfer from Arkansas in her first year at Arizona, was leading the attack.

“”With this team, you’ve got to know when to push it and when to slow it down,”” Arnold said. “”We’ve just got to know when to push the tempo and when to pull it back.””

Getting a feel for which tempo to use might take a while with two first-year guards running the offense, but Arizona head coach Niya Butts said that she needs her guards to cut down on turnovers.

“”You’re gonna get some turnovers when you play as fast as we’re trying to play,”” Butts said. “”But when you’re passing the ball, and it goes out of bounds, or dribble it off your foot, those are unforced errors, and we’ve got to clean those up.””

Arizona turned the ball over 25 times in its final tune up before the regular season — which tips off on Friday — but Butts said that 15 of those were the type that she can live with.

The 49-point disparity between the two teams might give the impression that the Wildcats were dominant, but Butts isn’t happy with what Arizona is doing on defense.

“”For me, as a coach at this point, I’m not too happy about (the defense),”” Butts said. “”We have to be more in tune. We’re not going to win a lot of basketball games trying to outscore people. We’ve got to get our defense caught with the offense at this point.””

One of the main concerns for Butts is defense in the post. Arizona was without junior transfer forward Taylor Dalrymple in Sunday’s win, and that could have been limiting for the Wildcats.

“”(It was) my decision not to play her,”” Butts said. “”If I decide that she’ll be out on Friday, then she’ll be out.””

Arizona opens the regular season with a contest at Wichita State University on Friday before opening up the home slate against Northern Arizona University on Monday.

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