Arizona women hold off New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Junior Kama Griffitts scored 16 points and added seven rebounds to lead the Arizona women’s basketball team past New Mexico 58-53 in front of a crowd of 7,928 at The Pit on Saturday.
 
Griffitts shot 40 percent from behind the arc, including a clutch 3-pointer to seal the win for the Wildcats in the final 90 seconds of the game.
 
Senior Davellyn Whyte scored 13 points to give her nine consecutive double-digit scoring games and junior Erica Barnes added 11 points. Junior Alli Gloyd led the team with nine rebounds.
 
As a team, the Wildcats were 11 for 13 from the free-throw line.
 
The Wildcats came out strong in the first half, scoring the first five points on a Whyte 3-pointer and Cheshi Poston layup, but New Mexico never trailed by more than eight. Arizona  went into the locker room with a 32-26 lead.
 
Whyte and Poston opened the second half with the same dynamic, scoring the first five points to stretch the Wildcats’ lead to nine, but the Lobos responded and slowly chipped away at the lead. With 2:54 remaining in the game, New Mexico took its first lead of the game, 51-50. Griffitts hit a key three-pointer to put Arizona back up and the Lobos could not recover.
 
“Despite 26 percent shooting, the second half was our more complete half because we wouldn’t go away,” Arizona head coach Niya Butts said. “We didn’t allow our missed shots to cause us not to defend on the other end. We were still able to make plays and we stayed together — that was the most important part.”
 
Arizona will return home to wrap up its nonconference season with two games at McKale Center, hosting Weber State on Dec. 16 and Longwood on Dec. 20.