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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


W-hoops beats Grand Canyon

Arizona women’s basketball completed exhibition play yesterday, defeating Grand Canyon University 81-54 at McKale Center.

Head coach Niya Butts described it as a solid, team win despite the Wildcats’ offensively slow start with 11-for-37 shooting in the first half. The Wildcats still finished ahead, leading 33-22 at the halftime buzzer.

“We didn’t shoot the ball particularly well in the first half, but the way we finished the game was really strong — we cut down on our turnovers, which is something I asked them to do and our goal was to hold them to 54 points or less and we were able to do that,” Butts said.

More impressively, Arizona forced 31 turnovers in the game while only committing 12 themselves. Butts attributed the success to the team’s switch from man to zone defense. Aside from the team’s rebounding, everything else looked smarter, Butts said.

Defensively, both Warthen and Whyte agreed that the zone defense is better for the team — Whyte also touched on the lack of rebounds.

“We were lazy on the boards,” Whyte said. “We played good defense and then we just kind of sat there and relaxed, and on the long rebounds we weren’t getting there or hustling to the loose balls.”
Despite shooting 3-for-14, junior guard Davellyn Whyte totaled 13 points and seven assists for the team.

“My shooting game was a little off tonight,” Whyte said, “thank God my teammates were there to pick us up.”

Sophomore Candice Warthen and freshman Erin Butler picked up the slack, Warthen leading with 15 points and Butler right behind her with 14.

Usual starter, senior Shanita Arnold didn’t suit up for the Wildcats.

“It was a coach’s decisions,” Butts said. “Anytime that players don’t do things we think are necessary for them to do, we make sure there are consequences to those.”

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