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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

‘Cats bounce back from cold start

For the first time in three games and 18 days, the Arizona women’s basketball team walked off the court with a victory, beating Washington 61-58 at McKale Center last night.

“”We just had to win this game,”” said freshman guard Candice Warthen after making her second start in as many games. “”There wasn’t another option.””

The Wildcat victory didn’t come without bumps in the road. Arizona started out hitting only one of its first fourteen shots, and had only nine points more than halfway in to the opening half.

Arizona bounced back though, shooting 44 percent in the second half behind sophomore guard Davellyn Whyte’s 15 points and team-high four assists. Senior Ify Ibekwe came off the bench after battling a high fever the last few days, and added 10 points of her own.

Senior forward Soana Lucet started 0-for-6 from the field before finishing with six points and five rebounds, but she made the game’s biggest play on the defensive end of the floor.

With Washington trailing by only two points with just 20 seconds left on the clock and in possession of the ball, Lucet stepped in to take a charge and all but end Washington’s hopes.

“”When I saw the big girl with the ball down low, I was never worried,”” Whyte said. “”I just knew Soana (Lucet) was going to be in a good position.””

Arizona head coach Niya Butts had nothing but high praise for the way Lucet was able to brush off her offensive struggles.

“”I tell you what, (Lucet) is tough,”” Butts said. “”I don’t know if a player works any harder than her. She’s committed to doing what needs to be done to win basketball games, and I wouldn’t rather have anyone doing it than her.””

Familiar foes

After snapping its three-game skid, Arizona will take on Washington State on Saturday afternoon in McKale Center.

Even though the Wildcats haven’t formally scouted the Cougars, Butts knows what Washington State is going to bring to the table.

“”We’re so familiar with that team, it seems like we’ve played them three times the last couple of years,”” Butts said. “”They’re familiar with us and we’re familiar with them, it’s going to be a battle.””

Washington State is coming fresh off of a victory against ASU, but Butts isn’t concerned given the Wildcats faced a similar situation last season.

“”They did the same thing last year. I think they were even winless before they beat (ASU),”” Butts said. “”Confidence does a lot, and it’s going to be about who is the tougher team that night.””

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