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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    W-hoops blown out by Devils

    On a day when the Arizona women’s basketball team desperately needed a win, a season’s worth of poor offense, a lack of depth and fatigue culminated in the worst loss of the season at the hands of archrival Arizona State.

    A week ago, the Wildcats (7-11, 0-7 Pacific 10 Conference) suffered through a dreadful second half, shooting just 2-of-23, en route to a 48-38 loss to UCLA. Despite the loss, the team had a week-long hiatus to get healthy and work on its shooting.

    The time off didn’t help.

    Arizona opened Saturday’s action in Tempe by shooting 6-of-28, and failed to reach double digits until 2:18 was left in the first half. The Wildcats trailed 29-12 at the break, and although there were still 20 minutes of basketball left, the game was already well out of hand.

    “”I expected them to be intense,”” head coach Niya Butts said of the Sun Devils’ defense in her postgame news conference. “”That’s what their style of play has been before I got into the Pac-10, so I expected nothing less from them.””

    The Sun Devils (13-6, 5-2 Pac-10), were led by junior guard Dymond Simon’s game-high 19 points as well as a suffocating defense. Not only did the defense hold the Wildcats to under 40 points, they held UA sophomore forward Ify Ibekwe, the Pac-10’s leading scorer and rebounder, to just 13 points and no offensive rebounds.

    “”I expected us to have a little bit more fight than we had. This outcome I don’t expect ever to be honest,”” Butts said. “”We’re going to do everything we can to prevent that from happening down the road.””

    Butts made some changes to her starting lineup, opting to give senior forward Sarah Hays and freshman guard Faihza Hill the start. The change didn’t help and after back-to-back games of invisible offense, the conference-wide belief that the Wildcats are handcuffed by their lack of depth is becoming more apparent.

    The 75-38 loss at the hands of the Sun Devils was the worst loss the Wildcats have endured since a 43-point loss to Rutgers in 1999.

    “”We’ve been battling that all year long,”” Butts said of the lack of contributions from her bench. “”I definitely don’t want to point to that as being a real big factor. We just didn’t step up to the plate.””

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