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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Women’s basketball sees season come to an end

Arizona women’s basketball’s season came to end on Thursday as the No. 11-seed Wildcats fell 80-62 to UCLA in the first round of the Pac-12 Conference Tournament held in Seattle, Wash.

With the loss, the UA ended the season with a 10-20 overall record. Arizona’s last winning record was in 2010-2011.

In her final game in an Arizona uniform, Candice Warthen scored a team-high 12 points to lead the Wildcats. Warthen leaves the program No. 16 on the career scoring list.

After grabbing an early lead, the Wildcats struggled to find a groove offensively against a zone defense from UCLA.

Arizona could not find many open looks outside and was swarmed by UCLA defenders when it got the ball into the post.

With Arizona unable to score consistently, the Bruins gradually took control of the game and expanded the lead to 37-24 at halftime. The Wildcats did not make a field goal over the final 5:37 of the first half.

Out of the locker room, Arizona managed to improve its shooting but couldn’t do enough on defense to slow down UCLA.

With 3:49 to go, the Wildcats cut the lead down to 65-54. However, the Bruins responded and never allowed Arizona to get any closer.

UCLA ended the game on a 7-1 run.

Malena Washington contributed 11 points for the Wildcats, while JaLea Bennett added 10 points. Senior Alli Gloyd recorded a team-high nine rebounds in her last game.

As a team, the Wildcats only shot 35 percent from the field, including 3-13 from outside. Warthen, despite being the team’s leading scorer, connected on just 4-15 of her attempts.

Arizona put up a strong outing on the glass, out-rebounding the Bruins 40-33. The Wildcats brought down 18 offensive boards.

However, the Bruins shot 48 percent from the field and 63 percent in the second half.

UCLA was led by junior Nirra Fields, who connected on 10-16 attempts to score a game-high 21 points. Jordin Canada and Monique Billings each added in 10 points.

Senior Madeline Poteet gave the Bruins a big boost from the bench in the form of three 3-pointers. 

UCLA knocked down six 3-pointers collectively.

As was the case for much of the season, the Wildcats were sloppy with the ball, committing 21 turnovers. UCLA turned those miscues into 12 fast-break points.

To the Bruins’ credit, the team recorded 15 steals, including four from Canada. UCLA also blocked seven Wildcats attempts.

Arizona did find success at the free-throw line, converting 19-25 attempts. Workman led the Wildcats with seven made free throws.

In the end, Arizona just couldn’t find enough open looks to keep up with the Bruins.

It was the third straight year that the UA lost in the first round of the tournament. The loss also assured that the Wildcats would miss the NCAA tournament for the 10th consecutive season.

Arizona has only made one postseason appearance under coach Niya Butts when the program fell in the first round of the 2011 NIT.

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Follow Ezra Amacher on Twitter.

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