Oh, the turnover. And, the turnovers.
The former has been an on-going theme for the Wildcats this season, with a roster hamstrung with just seven healthy players.
The latter was an issue on Sunday, when Arizona lost its 10th straight game, 64-50 against Oregon State at McKale Center.
With 8:07 left in the first half, Candice Warthen hit a jumper, and the Wildcats trailed the Beavers 26-16.
Soon, Keyahndra Cannon stole the ball, and promptly turned it over.
Then, 24 seconds later, Breanna Workman turned it over.
Then, Carissa Crutchfield.
Then, Kama Griffitts.
Then, Warthen, two more times.
So, in a span of 2 minutes 5 seconds, the Wildcats turned the ball over six times without attempting a shot.
A couple of air balls later, Arizona trailed 30-16 before Crutchfield finally hit a jumper at the 4:27 mark.
“We can’t have stretches where we have six turnovers in a row, and probably more than that if you count the air balls we shot,” coach Niya Butts said. “I don’t think our turnovers were caused because they were putting a ton of pressure on us, it was because it’s just not focusing and being casual with the basketball, and those are the things we can’t afford to do.”
By halftime the score was 35-24. And, just six minutes into the second, the Wildcats fell behind 51-31.
It’s certainly not the first time Arizona struggled in the first half, but this one was particularly painful.
It’s because the Wildcats are 4-17, and because they’ve lost 10 in a row, all in conference. Even worse, in five of their last six — excluding a three-point loss to Utah — they have lost, on average, by 21.2 points per game.
“We’re not playing very smart right now,” Butts said. “We have to get it worked out as quickly as we can, obviously. No one likes to be in a situation where they’re losing and not playing well, so I have confidence that they’re gonna do what they need to do individually.”
Added Workman, who scored 11 points in Sunday’s loss: “The frustrating thing has been not being able to get over that hump. We try to push and we don’t get over the hump, then we get down from it and it gets away from us.”
The Beavers (13-9, 5-5 Pac-12) were without their leading scorer, Jamie Weisner, who missed the game with an injury. Clearly, that didn’t really matter.
It could’ve been worse, though.
Griffitts’ status for the game was in question after she hurt her ankle in a loss to Oregon on Friday.
But, she still suited up, played 34 minutes and scored 11 points. Crutchfield, who had six points, five rebounds and five assists, played 39 minutes. Warthen was on the court for 31 minutes.
Now, the Wildcats only have one day of rest. On Tuesday, they’ll travel to Tempe to take on No. 15 Arizona State.
“We just have to figure some things out and refocus,” Butts said.