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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Women’s basketball will lean on Whyte

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Amy Webb
Amy Webb/ Daily Wildcat

Candice Warthen couldn’t find the words to describe teammate Davellyn Whyte’s 34-point performance in Thursday’s home win against Wichita State.

“Oh, wow,” was all the Arizona women’s basketball guard could come up with.

If the Wildcats (3-0) want to win in Las Cruces, N.M., tonight against New Mexico State, they will need more of the same from Whyte.

“Dav made it look easy (on Thursday) and hopefully she can continue to do that,” head coach Niya Butts said. “We need her to continue to stay on that course, along with everyone else.”

In the home opener, Whyte shot 11-of-17 from the field, 6-of-8 from 3-point range and went 6-of-8 from the free throw line. She also tagged on five assists and five rebounds.

“I didn’t even know I had that many points until one of my teammates told me. They were just feeding me the ball and I shot it,” Whyte said. “It felt like everything was my favorite spot tonight.”

For how good the 5-foot-11 guard was on Thursday, though, Whyte and Butts did not lose sight of the fact that the team still has a few areas where they need significant improvement.

“We didn’t do too well on the defensive end, how we usually do at least. We played a little soft,” Whyte said. “We got our hands on a lot of balls, but we couldn’t come up with them.”

Butts pointed toward rebounding as a big issue in Thursday’s game, as they were outrebounded 36-33 overall, and 22-16 in the first half.

“We struggled rebounding the ball,” Butts said. “We gotta do some things to make sure that doesn’t happen on a regular basis, especially if we want to be competitive and win down the stretch.”

A big part of the team’s struggles on the boards can be attributed to the slow start of 6-foot-5 starting center Aley Rohde. The team has high expectations for the freshman, but it has taken her longer to adjust to the collegiate level. Against Wichita State, in 27 minutes of playing time, she only grabbed three rebounds. On the season overall, she has eight rebounds.

Despite Rohde’s early struggles, Butts has confidence that Rohde will bounce back.

“It took her awhile to get going, but in the second half when she got in there, she settled down a bit,” Butts said. “We told her to protect the paint, and she did a really good job at that.

“Hopefully when things slow down a bit, she can take her time and get into the flow of things,” Butts added, “but I know she will be able to do that in the future.”

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