TUCSON, Ariz. – Despite four players scoring in double figures, the Arizona women’s basketball team couldn’t keep up with USC in a 74-62 loss Friday night at McKale Center.
Junior Erica Barnes led the Wildcats (12-16, 4-13) with 15 points, while senior Davellyn Whyte and junior Carissa Crutchfield had 13 and freshman Keyahndra Cannon added 10. Whyte also had nine assists and seven steals on a night when she was honored for becoming just the second player in program history to score 2,000-plus points in her career.
After two 3-pointers in the opening minutes, Arizona went cold as USC
(9-19, 6-11) went on a 17-1 run to take a commanding lead, eventually going into the half with a 39-26 advantage.
Wildcats came to play in the second half, putting together two 8-0 runs and getting back within one at 51-50. USC responded, though, never relinquishing the lead and pulling away down the stretch.
“We came out the first half and didn’t do anything close to what we
wanted to do, especially on defense,” Arizona head coach Niya Butts
said. “That first half was a nightmare of a deal, but we came out in the
second half and played much better. Ultimately, they made more plays
than we did. We couldn’t close the deal tonight.”
Senior Christina Marinacci led USC with 16 points and 18 rebounds, and junior Cassie Harberts added 23 points and 11 boards.
As a team, Arizona forced 18 turnovers and committed only 13, including zero in the second half.
UA closes the regular season against No. 16 UCLA at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
“We have to keep going and
keep working to get better,” Butts said. “That’s what we’re going to do as both a team
and staff. We have one more home game for our seniors on Sunday, and
we’re going to try and put them in a position to win.”