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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona women open season with win over Eastern New Mexico in exhibition

Arizona women’s basketball kicked off its season with a bang
in McKale Center on Tuesday, as the Wildcats blew out Eastern New Mexico 71-37 in an exhibition game.

Breanna Workman started off the season on the right foot
with eight points and three rebounds in the first quarter, as Arizona led 17-12
right out of the gate.

Redshirt freshmen Taryn Griffey was the offensive catalyst
and swiss army knife for the team, as she narrowly missed a triple-double with
13 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists.

The Wildcats spread the ball around on offense and played
within themselves for easier shots, shooting 50 percent in the first half. Of
their 26 made field goals, 17 of them were assisted.

Arizona went into halftime leading 34-24, but started to
impose its will and pull away from the Greyhounds in the second half. The
Wildcats outscored Eastern New Mexico 30-7 in the third quarter, as Malena
Washington put on a show from behind the arc.

The Wildcats held the Greyhounds to just 21 percent shooting
from the field, as their pack line defense made it very difficult for Eastern
New Mexico to execute.

“Part of it was us being in the right places,” Arizona head
coach Niya Butts said. “We did a good job contesting them and some instances,
they just missed some shots.”

Washington was the high scorer of the game with 26 points, while
Workman also chipped in 12 points for the Wildcats’ cause.

Sarah Stinnett was the only Greyhound in double-figures with
14 points, but only shot 6-for-17 from the field, as the Wildcats’ defensive
stopped her from finding any kind of rhythm.

The Wildcats will look to build on their exhibition win as
they head toward the regular season.

“I like the way we’re gelling right now,” Butts said. “We
just have to continue to grow and we have to continue moving in that direction
and not take any steps back.”

Arizona’s regular season kicks off Saturday, as the Wildcats
head to Toledo to take on the Rockets. Arizona will open its home season
Wednesday, Nov. 18, against Howard at 7 p.m. Both games will be on KTUC AM 1400.

Follow Ivan Leonard on Twitter.

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