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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Sun Devils burn W-hoops

Redemption will have to wait another year for the Wildcats.

It looked as if the Arizona women’s basketball team (13-12, 6-8 Pacific 10 Conference) might snap its nine game losing streak to rival ASU (16-9, 8-6) on Saturday, as it outplayed the Sun Devils for the first 30 minutes of the game.

The Wildcats could not overcome poor shooting down the stretch, however, and the Sun Devils came back to win their 10th straight game against Arizona 57-49.

Connecting on just 33 percent of shots from the field during the game, Arizona looked to its defense to try and stifle the Sun Devils.

The Wildcats were successful in executing their stingy defense, holding ASU to just 19 points in the first half and entering the locker room with a six-point advantage.

Head coach Niya Butts got scattered scoring from her team’s offense in the first half, with freshman Davellyn Whyte leading the way with just four points.  Whyte finished the game with 10 points, almost seven below her average.

Due to poor shooting throughout the game, Arizona relied on uncharacteristic production on the glass. 

The Wildcats crashed the boards the entire game, showing the Sun Devils physical play, which allowed Arizona to post a 45-32 rebounding advantage.

Junior Ify Ibekwe led the game with 17 total rebounds, and teammate Soana Lucet recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Butts has made rebounding the focal point for her team the whole year and has seen tangible results the past few games, with the Wildcats winning the battles inside against their opponents.

Prowess on the glass would not be enough against the Sun Devils, though, as ASU slowly chipped away at the Wildcats’ lead in the second half. 

The game was knotted up at 40-40 with 7:47 to play in the game, and in a situation where Arizona’s shots were not falling, the Sun Devils took advantage by knocking down jumpers and free throws to secure the eight-point win at home.

The story for the Wildcats in losses usually begins with the inability to rebound. On Saturday, though, it was ASU’s pressure defense that prevented Arizona from developing a rhythm for its potent offense.

With a loss Saturday, Arizona remains in seventh place in the Pac-10, with their goal of a winning season still intact, hoping to finish above .500 for the first time since the 2004-2005 season.

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