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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona suffers first home loss

Arizona suffers first home loss

For the first time in the 2010-2011 season, Arizona dropped a game at home, losing 73-63 to California in McKale Center on Thursday night.

Arizona (13-8, 4-6 Pacific 10 Conference) couldn’t shake an ice-cold start, which saw the Wildcats shoot 0-of-7 from the field and commit five turnovers in the game’s first five minutes.

“”I thought this was a game that we had an opportunity to win,”” said Arizona coach Niya Butts. “”(The slow start) was on us because we weren’t focusing. We came out and two people would be executing and two wouldn’t be.””

Senior forward Ify Ibekwe — who led Arizona with 21 points and 11 rebounds — said that she came into the game with more of an aggressive mindset.

“”That’s something I’m trying to do — just not being so soft,”” Ibekwe said. “”When I’m more active, I feel like I bring my other teammates along with me.””

Ibekwe wasn’t a one-woman show despite Arizona’s double-digit lost to the Golden Bears (14-7, 6-4). Sophomore guard Davellyn Whyte also scored 21 points, while playing with a wrapped right wrist.

“”It’s just a little sore — we only (wrapped) it to prevent some things,”” Whyte said.

Although Arizona’s 63 points were well under its season average of 74 points per game, Butts said that defense was the main contributor to the Wildcats’ woes.

“”I think their guard did a really good job of attacking us, and they were physical with us,”” Butts said. “”It seemed like they were able to get in the paint at will and make plays offensively. I think our defensive effort wasn’t what it’s been in the last couple games.””

Butts said that the Wildcats focus on turning defensive stops in to quick scores, and that slowed down Arizona’s usual high-speed offense.

Up Next

After dropping its first home game of the season, Arizona plays No. 4 Stanford (19-2, 10-0) in McKale Center on Saturday at 2 p.m.

“”We have to do a good job of pushing the ball in transition,”” Butts said. “”Obviously they’re bringing a lot of size to the table, so scoring early is going to be critical for us.””

Arizona lost this season’s earlier meeting with Stanford 87-54.

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