The Arizona women's basketball team pushed its winless streak to five games on Sunday afternoon with a 60-50 loss to Washington State at McKale Center.
Of all the recent losses, this one seemed to sting the most. It was, after all, a very winnable game.
Arizona (11-10, 3-7 Pac-12) tied the game at 43 when senior Davellyn Whyte drained a three midway through the second half.
Then, everything fell apart for the Cats. The Cougars (8-13, 4-6) embarked on a 13-0 run, putting the game away.
"We started to self-destruct on the floor," UA coach Niya Butts said of the second-half collapse. "We stopped sharing the ball. We turned it over a few times.
"We've got to handle that better."
The Cats shot 33 percent from the field in the first half and took a 27-26 lead into the break. That shooting percentage dipped to 23.5 in the second half.
"We just weren't focused all the way around," junior Kama Griffitts said. "Personally, for me, and from my other teammates' reactions, I think (this loss) does sting more" than the others.
Whyte, nursing the right ankle she sprained in Friday's loss to Washington, scored a team-high 17 points. She drained four threes and said her perimeter shooting was more a result of the Cougars' collapsing interior defense than it was an excuse not to drive on her bum leg.
"Once I get going, I get my adrenaline rush and I'm fine," Whyte said of the injury.
"She was fine," Butts added. "She plays pretty banged up often. She manages to tough it out."
Whyte's individual performance was overshadowed by that of Washington State's Lia Galdeira, who led all scorers with 21 points, 12 of those coming over a four-minute span in the second half.
Galdeira helped the Cougars avenge a six-point loss to Arizona a month ago in Pullman, Wash.
With that win, the conference opener for both teams, Arizona improved to 9-3 overall and kicked off the Pac-12 on a winning note.
That seems like a long time ago now. Arizona has dropped seven of nine since that win.
Even worse, the schedule doesn't get any easier. This week's task involves road games at Stanford and Cal, teams with a combined record of 39-4 and rankings of No. 4 and No. 6, respectively, in the current AP Top 25 poll.
"When you're looking at it from our prospective, we have to stay positive because if we don't, it's not going to go anywhere good," Butts said.
"We just have to stay the course and continue to talk about what's going to win us basketball games, and hopefully we can put together two good halves."