Arizona women come up short against USC

TUCSON, Ariz. — Junior Candice Warthen posted her 10th game of the year with double-digit points, but the Arizona women’s basketball team (4-11, 0-4) fell to USC (11-6, 4-1) 54-45 on Sunday at McKale Center.

Warthen finished with 12 points to lead Arizona, while senior Carissa Crutchfield and freshman LaBrittney Jones had nine each and freshman Breanna Workman posted eight.

The Wildcats dropped in a hole early, trailing by as many as 19 with 12 minutes to play in the second half. They rallied and pulled within five points in the final minutes, but the Trojans held on.

"It’s very frustrating; we have opportunities and just didn’t capitalize," Arizona coach Niya Butts said. "We held them to 54 points, we should have a chance to win. We’re not capitalizing on so many opportunities. We missed fast-break layups, and fundamental things like that just aren’t getting done."

As a team, Arizona forced 18 turnovers and committed just 13. The Wildcats also held All-Pac-12 selection Cassie Harberts to eight points, well below her season average of 14.9.

But the Cats scored a season-low 45 points and connected on just one 3-pointer for the first time all season.

"We’re always so close," Warthen said. "We need to find it within ourselves that we can do this. We never finish. We have to learn how to do that."

Southern California pulled down 44 rebounds to Arizona’s 33.

"We didn’t rebound at all," Workman said. "That makes me upset, because that’s my position and I have more pride than that. We played good defense, but most of their points in the first half were offensive rebounds."

Junior Alexyz Vaioletama led the Trojans with 16 points and seven rebounds.

The Wildcats will host No. 4 Stanford at McKale Center on Friday.

"When you have Stanford and California coming up — both those teams are playing well," Butts said. "There’s no time to harp on it. We have to prepare and make changes."