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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

W-Hoops drops third straight

W-Hoops drops third straight

For the third time in as many games, the Arizona women’s basketball suffered a blowout loss at the hands of a Pacific 10 Conference opponent, losing 75-43 on the road to ASU.

The Wildcats (11-5, 2-3 Pac-10) — who were without senior forward Ify Ibekwe for most of the contest — struggled on offense, hitting only one field goal in the last 10 minutes of the first half and shooting just 29.8 percent on the afternoon.

“”They dominated us physically on the floor,”” Arizona head coach Niya Butts said regarding UA’s 11th consecutive loss to ASU (11-4, 3-2). “”We have to be able to respond to that a little bit better, and hopefully we’re the team to hit first next time. That’s about all I have to say about our performance, there weren’t a lot of positives to point out.””

Ibekwe, who has been battling illness over the past few days, didn’t attempt a field goal in only 12 minutes of action — well below her season average of 28 minutes per game.

“”She certainly wasn’t feeling her best, but I don’t even want to talk about it,”” Butts said. “”It seems like I’m making an excuse for the way we played when that had nothing to do with it.””

Ibekwe entered Sunday’s game as the only Pac-10 player averaging a double-double.

Butts and her coaching staff switched up the Wildcats’ starting lineup for the first time this season, inserting freshman guard Candice Warthen instead of usual starter Brooke Jackson, who is second on the team in both 3-pointers made, with 24, and in 3-point percentage, at 39.3 percent.

The lineup switch may have led to the struggles on offense, but those were overshadowed by even greater struggles on the defensive end. The Wildcats switched from man-to-man to zone defense and back again several times in an attempt to slow down the Sun Devil offense, which was led by junior forward Kimberly Brandon with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

ASU shot 48 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3-point range despite a measly 24 percent clip heading into Sunday’s contest. The Sun Devils also held a 41-30 rebounding advantage.

Arizona showed signs of life after intermission, starting the second half on a 6-2 run which prompted an ASU timeout. After the break, it was back to business as usual for the Sun Devils, who went on a 15-3 run to stretch their lead to 27 — ending any hope of a Wildcat comeback.

Sophomore guard Davellyn Whyte was tied with Brandon, leading all scorers with 13 points. Whyte, however, only shot 3-of-16 from the field and 1-8 from 3-point land. Senior forward Soana Lucet added 12 points and five rebounds.

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