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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Women’s basketball returns home after 1-2 road swing

Ryan+Revock+%2F+The+Daily+Wildcat%0AUA+senior+guard+Kama+Griffitts+guards+against+Fort+Lewis+on+Nov.+2+at+the+McKale+Center.++
Ryan Revock
Ryan Revock / The Daily Wildcat UA senior guard Kama Griffitts guards against Fort Lewis on Nov. 2 at the McKale Center.

Arizona women’s basketball looks to gain momentum as it plays its home opener against the Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks (1-2) on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The game will be streamed live on pac-12.com. The Wildcats (1-2) are coming off their first victory of the season and will look to start their first winning streak of the year.

The Wildcats turned up their defensive effort in their last game against UC Santa Barbara and will need a similar effort here to stop the Ladyjacks and their star center, Porsha Roberts. Roberts is Stephen F. Austin’s leading scorer (22 PPG), rebounder (7.3 RPG) and shot blocker (2 BPG).

Arizona freshman forwards LaBrittney Jones and Dejza James are the two most likely UA defenders to match up with Roberts. Jones and James are tied for the tallest healthy player on Arizona’s roster, as they are both 6-foot-1.

The Ladyjacks will be the first of five non-conference home games for the Wildcats this season. The team will attempt to improve upon last year’s 3-1 home non-conference record. As she sat out all of last season with a knee injury, this is also the first regular season home game for junior guard Candice Warthen since March 3, 2012, when she played against ASU.

Warthen will likely be matched up against Stephen F. Austin’s second leading scorer, guard Brittney Matthew. The 5-foot-7 Matthew is also the team’s leader in assists, with three per game.

Warthen should be more than ready for the challenge and will provide the Ladyjacks with a fair number of problems herself. Warthen is Arizona’s leader in points per game (20.3), assists per game (5.33) and steals per game (2.0), all while playing a Pac-12-leading 40.7 minutes per game.

Arizona head coach Niya Butts has consistently preached defense as the key to victory, and this game will be no different. Her team held UC Santa Barbara to just 49 points last Saturday for its first win of the year and she praised the team’s will to win after the game.

In order to secure a victory against the Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks, the Wildcats will need to continue to improve their defense.

The Wildcats next take the floor on Saturday at 6 p.m. MST against the University of the Pacific Tigers in Stockton, Calif., before returning to Tucson to take on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on Nov. 26 at 11 a.m. The Wake Forest game will be streamed live on pac-12.com.

— Follow Roberto Payne @RPsportreporter

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