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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona W-Hoops blown out by No. 4 Stanford

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Gordon Bates
Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat

The Stanford women’s basketball team is the No. 4 ranked team in the country, and undefeated in the Pac-12. Arizona was considered a huge underdog going into their game against the Cardinal on Saturday. The Wildcats lived up to that underdog label, and then some, in a 91-51 loss.

The 40-point loss was Arizona’s worst loss of the season, both in terms of the losing margin and points given up to an opponent. Yet, the Wildcats still found some positives in the outcome, especially in Aley Rohde’s performance.

“I didn’t like the outcome of the game naturally,” head coach Niya Butts said. “However, I thought Aley (Rohde) came to play in both games against Cal and Stanford, did some good things and grew up a lot.”

Rohde, the 6-foot-5 freshman center, has struggled much of the year adjusting to the pace of college basketball. But this weekend she took a huge step forward in her progression. Against Stanford, she scored nine points and grabbed 11 rebounds in 35 minutes. In the overtime loss to Cal on Thursday, she scored 14 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked two shots in a season-high 43 minutes.

On Saturday, she was tasked with defending two of the top players in the nation in Stanford’s sisterly duo of Chiney and Nnemkadi Ogwumike. Their athleticism was a little too much to handle, however, and they combined to record 33 points on 14-of-22 shooting, 16 rebounds, six assists and six blocks.

“They’re amazing athletes,” Rohde said. “I’ve always been so impressed with them, but you have to give credit where credit is due. They’re so aggressive and athletic and fast and strong, it was just one of those things you have to come in mentally for and fight down low.”

Another major contributing factor in the loss was the play of junior guard Davellyn Whyte. The Wildcats’ leading scorer has been struggling as of late and her struggles reached a new low point on Saturday.

In a season-low 14 minutes of action, Whyte went 0-for-5 from the field, scored zero points, and had four turnovers and two personal fouls.

“She’s human, she’s going to make mistakes like anyone else and she made a few today,” Butts said. “The game was kind of getting away and we want to make sure we’re doing the best thing for our players as well. We’re taking care of their bodies and not doing anything silly.”

Despite all the recent struggles of Whyte, and the team overall, there is still optimism moving forward. In the eyes of senior guard Shanita Arnold, playing the Cardinal and losing was a low-point and the only way to go from here is up.

“We got the big dog out of the way, Stanford, and now any given night we can win,” Arnold said. “We have to continue to play hard because we have the talent and, at the end of the day, it’s all about who has the heart.”

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