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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    W-hoops wants ‘D’ for Ducks

    UA freshman Amani Butler drives up for the layup in Thursday nights 63-55 loss to Oregon State in McKale Center. Despite an upbeat start, the Wildcats couldnt hold the Beavers on the defensive end.
    UA freshman Amani Butler drives up for the layup in Thursday night’s 63-55 loss to Oregon State in McKale Center. Despite an upbeat start, the Wildcats couldn’t hold the Beavers on the defensive end.

    Round two between the Ducks and the Wildcats will be played on home court for the Arizona women’s basketball team Saturday at noon in McKale Center.

    Arizona’s defense struggled against Oregon State and allowed 63 points in the loss last night at home. Their defense is the main focus of the team as they head into Saturday’s matinee game with Oregon.

    “”We’ve got to get stops. We’ve got to keep other teams from shooting all those threes and we have to rebound,”” said freshmen guard Courtney Clements. “”We can’t get out rebounded.””

    Arizona’s defense has become a focal point for head coach Niya Butts and her coaching staff as she looks to find a way to keep the Wildcats in the game as the second half comes to a close. The challenge against Oregon will be finding an answer to their explosive defense, which was lacking in their loss at home to Oregon State.

    “”We’re going to go back to the drawing board and see what we can do to change it,”” Butts said.

    The execution of their game plan will be the make-or-break point for UA (8-13, 1-9 Pacific-10 conference). Arizona, who was defeated in Eugene, Ore., by 13 points earlier this season, looks to accomplish a few key points in their second meeting of the year.

    “”We have to box out. We have to limit our turnovers, and execute on offense,”” sophomore forward Ify Ibekwe said.

    The Ducks (8-13, 4-6) have managed a few wins in conference play, but are fresh off of a loss to ASU last night in Tempe.

    Oregon has proven to be a hit-or-miss team: All of their wins or losses have been by double digits. In those games, the Ducks had three players who averaged double figures in Taylor Lilley, Micaela Cocks, and Ellie Manou.

    Although both teams have the same record, Arizona racked up more wins against nonconference teams but has struggled against the Pac-10. The Ducks, who are 3-2 on the road this season, look to come to the desert and break their losing streak.

    After opening Pac-10 play rather well, Oregon has struggled, and has lost four straight conference games. In their last two losses, the Duck defense has given up over 60 points per game. Arizona hopes to add to that streak, and gain their evasive second Pac-10 win.

    The aspects of the game that are lacking in the Wildcats style of play are felt throughout the locker room. Both players and coaches acknowledge the team must do a better job of the little things.

    “”We’ve just got to refocus. We have to do a better job on the boards,”” Butts said. “”You’ve got to box out your opponents, you got to attack the basket, you’ve got to make free throws, you’ve got to keep your turnovers down.””

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