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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona women’s basketball Keyahndra Cannon hopes to make most of senior season

Arizona+guard+Keyahndra+Cannon+%2815%29+signals+to+her+teammate+during+a+game+against+USC+on+Feb+5.+Senior+Cannon+will+compete+in+her+last+two+regular+season+ames+as+a+Wildcat+this+weekend.
Munir Tufail
Arizona guard Keyahndra Cannon (15) signals to her teammate during a game against USC on Feb 5. Senior Cannon will compete in her last two regular season ames as a Wildcat this weekend.

Keyahndra Cannon made her way to the podium with tears running down her cheeks. It was supposed to be a special day for her, being the team’s only senior on Senior Day, but instead it ended in heart-crushing fashion.

The Arizona women’s basketball team collapsed, blowing a five-point lead to Washington State in the final minute and losing by just a single point in Cannon’s final home game in McKale Center.

“I’m not so much focused on senior day, but it’s always tough to lose a game like that,” a dejected Cannon said after the game. “I thought we fought hard, but we just came up short.”

It was Arizona’s tenth loss in a row and, unfortunately for Cannon, losing has been customary during her time in Tucson. After all, in Cannon’s first three years in the program, the team compiled a 27-63 record. This season, the team is currently 11-17 and 2-14 in Pac-12 Conference.

But, despite the losing, she has cherished her time at the University of Arizona.

“When things don’t go our way, we can’t focus on that,” Cannon said. “We have to control what we can control…it’s a great place, great team, great coaches. I would say [coming here] was one of the best choices I’ve made in my life.”

Cannon, who averages 3.9 points per game, was never one to light up the stat sheet, but she impacts the game in other ways – defensively and more importantly through leadership. She was the team captain of her high school team all four years and took on that role when she arrived in Arizona.

“Keyahndra is a leader on this team,”teammate LaBrittney Jones said. “She means a lot to us. She brings a lot energy to our team and she’s a good teammate for us.”

Head coach Niya Butts, too, expressed appreciation for the senior’s effort.

“Anytime you have a senior that’s been with you all four years – through the ups, through the downs – you certainly have to appreciate that,” Butts said.

The Wildcats, barring any transfers, will return 12 of their 13 players next season. There will be plenty of familiar faces, but the team’s senior leader obviously won’t be one of them.

“It’s going to be different next season without her,” Jones said. “I’ve enjoyed her for the past three years and we’ve grown to love each other as teammates, sisters, whatever you want to call it. She’s my best friend.”

Added Butts, “We’ve shared lots of laughs, and have also had some tough times. At the end of the day, I love her and I’m certainly going to miss her.”

Meanwhile for Cannon, she has one final road trip and the Pac-12 Conference Tournament left to go in her collegiate career.

Once that concludes, it’ll be time for her to move onto the next chapter of her life, and she’s planning to put her leadership skills to good use.

“If I get an opportunity to play overseas, I’ll take it,” she said. “If not, then I’ll probably go into coaching and go from there.”


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