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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Warthen’s injury not slowing down Arizona

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At the start of the season, all eyes were on star guard Davellyn Whyte, and to a lesser extent the arrival of highly touted freshman Aley Rohde.

That helped sneak sophomore guard Candice Warthen under the radar — at least until she burst out to the tune of 36 points in the second game of the season against Georgia State.

Through eight games, Warthen was second to Whyte in points, scoring 16.8 points per game. But then she went down with a foot injury and hasn’t played a game since a Dec. 3, 2011, win over BYU-Hawaii. The loss of Warthen for extended action could have proven lethal, but thanks to senior guard Reiko Thomas, the Wildcats have won five of the seven games Warthen has missed.

Over the course of those seven games, Thomas has been a solid defender for Arizona (12-3, 1-2 Pac-12 Conference), averaging 1.7 steals per game in addition to scoring 9.42 points per game, shooting 7-of-15 from 3-point range and grabbing nearly four rebounds per game. Thomas isn’t scoring at the same rate as Warthen, but she’s still contributing.

“She’s been doing very well, playing really aggressive, taking the ball to the basket, rebounding for us, being a defensive presence for us,” head coach Niya Butts said. “We hope that she can continue on this track.”

Butts said that Warthen might be back in the near future, “but I don’t want to jinx it since she’s doing so well now, I just want to ease her back in slowly.”

As for Thomas, her play has earned her continued playing time when Warthen does eventually return to the basketball court.

“Absolutely, you know early on in the season there were a couple of games where she was out for other reasons but I think she’s going to be a steady player for us,” Butts said. “She was a steady player last year, she will continue to be that for us even when Candice returns.”

Player joins roster

The Wildcats picked up a new player, former North Idaho College standout Kama Griffitts, over winter break. Griffitts signed her national letter of intent to play for Arizona in November but was added to the roster after the fall semester ended.

“She going to be a good player for us, obviously she won’t play for us this season but she’s a strong, big guard,” Butts said. “She can really shoot the ball, really smart basketball player, moves well without the ball and just understands.”

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