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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Women’s basketball ends regular season with Colorado and Utah

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Emily Gauci

Arizona women’s basketball forward Alli Gloyd (30) shoots over California guard Gabby Green during Arizona’s 65-46 loss to California in McKale Center on Feb. 6. Along with Candice Warthen, Gloyd will be honored on Sunday as one of two seniors on this year’s Arizona team. 

Arizona women’s basketball concludes its regular season this weekend when it hosts Colorado and Utah in McKale Center. The Wildcats enter the final two games sitting in last place in the Pac-12 Conference with a 2-14 league record and have lost their last three games by an average margin of 25 points.

“We’re just bad all around right now,” Arizona point guard Candice Warthen said. “It’s offense and defense.”

Arizona will get its first crack to turn things around on Friday as the Wildcats take on Colorado at 6 p.m.

When the two schools matched up at the beginning of the month in Boulder, Colo., the UA kept things competitive until the final stretch, where it fell apart.

“It was a five-point game with less than two minutes, but we just could not get stops and we could not keep them off the offensive boards,” Arizona women’s basketball coach Niya Butts said. “They got way too many transitions points on us. We scored [69] points that night, which is usually enough to win, but you have to get stops when you need it.”

Rebounding has been a constant struggle for the Wildcats in conference play, as the team faces a -7.5 margin on the glass.  

For Arizona to alter that trend, it will require greater effort from players to go after loose balls. In the last three losses, no Wildcat has recorded more than six boards in a single game.

On Sunday, Arizona wraps up the regular season with a 3 p.m. matchup against Utah. Before the game, the program will honor seniors Warthen and Alli Gloyd.

The Wildcats will need the presence of their two seniors to beat Utah, which, despite sitting in 11th place in the conference, defeated Arizona single-handedly in Salt Lake City.

In a 14-point defeat, the UA failed to slow down the Utes, allowing four of their five starters to reach double-digits.

“Against Utah, we had a great start but didn’t do enough to maintain that start we had,” Butts said. “We have to be a little more physical with them inside and we have to slow down their guards.”

To win either game, Arizona will also have to shoot the ball much better than it has of late. According to Butts, the team spent much of practice this week dedicated to shooting in order to regain a feel for the net.

With the Pac-12 Tournament less than a week away, there shouldn’t be a lack of urgency from a team that is currently in line to take the bottom No. 12 seed. If the Wildcats sweep the home-stand, they could jump Utah to No. 11 in the conference.

“We feel it will be to our advantage to have our last games at home in front of our fans and those people who support and love us,” Butts said. “We want to try to do the very best we can one game at a time to make things happen, and obviously that will give us momentum going into Seattle.”

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Follow Ezra Amacher on Twitter.

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