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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Final dress rehearsal for W-Hoops

With the final preparations for the 2010-11 campaign on the horizon, the Arizona women’s basketball team faces the Western State College of Colorado Mountaineers in its last of two exhibition matches of the season on Sunday in Tucson.

Head coach Niya Butts is not letting the Wildcats’ Tuesday night romp of Grand Canyon University get to their heads and is determined to keep adjusting the game play throughout the final week of preseason practice.

“”We really want to mix it up on offense, and we’re looking forward to getting better,”” Butts said after the game against GCU.

With every active player seeing at least 12 minutes in Tuesday’s game, Butts will rely heavily on the depth that they have this year.

Circulating players will really force the need for teamwork, and this was evident with Arizona’s 22 assists on Tuesday.

“”I don’t think we’ve even had that many (assists) in practice,”” Butts said. “”It’s great to see the girls being unselfish and sharing the ball.””

With a solid start from the new additions to the team, the coaching staff is looking forward to what the future will bring for their younger players.

Freshman Candice Warthen proved her prowess at the point with a strong showing in the previous game, subbing in for junior Shanita Arnold on several occasions.

Although the Wildcats’ 90-56 win over Grand Canyon would be considered a blowout by many, the Wildcats still allowed a window for their Division-II opponents to rack up some points when the Wildcats only managed to score 10 points in the first 11 minutes of the second half.

“”We came into the first half really hyped,”” said junior guard Brooke Jackson. “”But when we came into the second half, and we didn’t want to foul, so we played really reserved.””

The ferocity will have to hold up throughout the entire 40 minutes on Sunday for the Wildcats to have the same success against Western Colorado.

As a strong proponent of the quick transition offense, Butts emphasized how important the transition defense will be, and how, if they are unable to get the quick point on the transition, they will have to push it back to defend their own basket.

After the Western Colorado match-up, Arizona heads to Kansas to take on Wichita State University to open the regular season and begin to carve out their path to the NCAA tournament in March.

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