TUCSON, Ariz. – The Arizona women’s basketball broke its eight-game losing streak with a 61-52 victory over Utah on Sunday at McKale Center.
Senior Davellyn Whyte had 21 points, nine rebounds, five steals and four assists to lead the Wildcats, while junior Carissa Crutchfield had nine points, five rebounds, six assists and only one turnover. Junior Alli Gloyd added eight points and nine rebounds for Arizona (12-13, 4-10).
As a team, the Wildcats forced 19 turnovers, turning them into 28 points, and outscored the Utes (14-11, 5-9) on the fast break 8-2. Arizona committed only 11 turnovers and shot 16 free throws to Utah’s eight.
“To get one today in the fashion we did, you can see it in the stat sheet,” Arizona head coach Niya Butts said. “You can see that this is what we have been talking about the whole time, and we make that happen and the result was a win. So it feels really good.”
In the first half, Utah came out strong and scored the first four points, but Arizona responded with an 18-0 run to take an 18-4 lead. For the rest of the half, the Utes went on short runs, but the Wildcats had answers and went into the locker rooms with a 35-24 advantage.
In the second half, Utah had a few short runs, but the Wildcats never allowed any more than six unanswered points. Arizona took a 12-point lead with five minutes remaining, but the Utes hit back-to-back threes to narrow the lead to within seven with two minutes left. The Wildcats used the lead to turn up the heat on the defensive end, connected on free throws and took the game, 61-52.
Junior Michelle Plouffe led the Utes with 21 points and 16 rebounds, while junior Taryn Wicijowski had 14 points and 10 rebounds.
“Finally breaking that losing streak was important for us,” Butts said. “But the way we did it was very important, especially on offense. I thought last game, our team did enough on the defensive end, but not on offense. Today, we had only 11 turnovers, and that is key for us. We forced them to turn the ball over and kept most of those possessions rather than giving it back. We had 15 assists and 23 made shots, so we were sharing the ball a lot better.
“Any time you get that kind of effort offensively, as well as defensively, I like our chances.”