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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

It’s over: W-Hoops ends eight-game losing streak in blowout fashion over WSU

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Gordon Bates
Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat

For eight straight games, all losses, the Arizona women’s basketball team couldn’t catch a break. If the Wildcats wanted to salvage whatever season they have left, they needed a shot in the arm.

Enter Erin Butler.

In a 90-51 win over Washington State in McKale Center on Thursday, Butler came out firing from long range. Butler made two 3-pointers in the first five minutes of the game, giving Arizona (14-12, 3-11 Pac-12) an 8-6 lead. In the next five minutes, she drained two more long balls, giving the Wildcats a 25-15 lead. Over the next four minutes, Butler added one more 3-pointer and a layup to give Arizona a 32-21 lead.

“I just came in tonight ready to win,” Butler said. “If I touch the ball, if I’m open, I’m going to look to hit it. If I’m not hitting them ill kick it to somebody else, but it felt good so I kept letting them fly.”

Toward the end of the first half, thanks to two more Butler layups and one from freshman Layana White, Arizona held an 18-point lead. The Wildcats had not led a game — at any point — by more than seven points since a Jan. 5 win over UCLA.

By the time the halftime buzzer sounded with Arizona leading 46-31, Butler had already tallied 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting and 5-of-7 from 3-point range.

“I’m not sure I’ve seen them having so much fun, getting each other the ball, being active, being aggressive,” head coach Niya Butts said. “It’s a fun feeling to play that way, we should understand how this feels and carry it on and move forward as we continue the rest of the season.”

Butler was held scoreless in the second half and only shot the ball one more time. But, if the first half was Butler’s, then the second half belonged to Davellyn Whyte.

After struggling for much of the last six games, Whyte returned to form Thursday night. She opened the second half with the Wildcats’ first nine points, giving Arizona a 21-point lead. That lead would eventually stretch to as many as 41 points in the Wildcats’ highest-scoring output of the season. Whyte finished with 19 points on 6-of-9 shooting, 11 rebounds, six assists and two steals in 26 minutes of action.

“We put everything together,” Whyte said. “We knew that we could beat this team and we have the confidence. I think today it all came together.”

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