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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

W-Hoops hosts Cal in hopes of ending freefall

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If the Arizona women’s basketball team wants to snap out of its four-game losing streak, it will have to do so against some of the Pac-12’s best, starting tonight at the McKale Center against the California Golden Bears.

The Wildcats return home after being swept by the Washington schools this weekend by a combined score of 155-116 and turning the ball over 23 times in each game. Head coach Niya Butts says the home crowd should be able to get the Wildcats back on track.

“We’re ready to play in front of our home fans,” Butts said. “We’ve tried a whole bunch of different medicines, I don’t know if we’ve gotten the right combination yet. I think it’s a lack of focus and mental errors. This is going to be a tough week ahead, but I’m confident that we can come out and play our best basketball.”

Arizona (13-8, 2-7 Pac-12) will be tested against Cal, the top offensive rebounding team in the conference.

“Obviously it’s going to be a physical basketball game,” Butts said. “They are a really physical team, especially down low. They do a really good job on the boards, but we just have to be physical.”

Leading scorer Davellyn Whyte has struggled recently, and the Wildcats will need her to bounce back if they are going to compete against Cal. In her last two games, Whyte scored just 21 points combined — her season scoring average is 18.2 points per game.

“It’s been hard coming out so strong, and then hitting this little slump we’re on, but we all know where we want to be,” Whyte said. “We’re just really focused on the next game. One game at a time so we can get back on a winning streak.”

One area where the Wildcats have an advantage over the Golden Bears is from the charity stripe, as Cal is the worst in the Pac-12 from the free-throw line, while Arizona boasts the third highest percentage, 70.7 percent. If Arizona can be aggressive and get to the foul line, this game could swing in the favor of the Wildcats.

“We have to make we’re doing things offensively to get that confidence,” Butts said. “Trying to the free throw line to get some offense going and see the ball go through the basket that way, and not just take a bunch of outside shots.”

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