Butts era ends with loss to UCLA - Tucson News Now

Butts era ends with loss to UCLA


Arizona’s season came to end Friday afternoon in the quarterfinal round of the Pac-12 Tournament at Key Arena. The Wildcats, seeded 11th, fell to No. 3 UCLA 72-51.

Arizona finishes the season with a 13-19 record, and will now turn to the offseason.


Junior LaBrittney Jones, who led the Wildcats in the first round against Oregon, posted her third double-double of the season Friday against the Bruins. She finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Malena Washington added eight in the loss and Farrin Bell added six.

UCLA, ranked No. 12 in the AP Top 25, jumped out to a 36-15 lead at halftime, despite the Wildcats holding the Bruins to 36 percent shooting. UCLA hit three of 11 3-pointers and went 7 of 8 from the free throw line in the first. The Bruins were led by forward Monique Billings, who had eight points, five rebounds and three steals in 15 minutes in the first half.

The Wildcats started off strong and kept up with the third-seeded Bruins. Trailing 7-4, Jones hit a 3-pointer with 5:22 left in the first quarter to tie the game at seven. Jones then hit a jumper less than 30 seconds later to give the Wildcats a 9-7 lead.

The Bruins responded with a 10-0 run and led 17-9 with 48 seconds left in the quarter when Billings hit a jumper. Breanna Workman hit a jumper just inside the 3-point line with 27 seconds left to cut it to 17-11 after the opening period.

The Bruins used the second quarter to pull away, outscoring the Wildcats 19-4 in the period to take their sizable halftime lead.

“I thought we started out pretty solid, and then we didn’t score; we couldn’t hit any shots,” coach Niya Butts said. “We weren’t able to sustain anything, and UCLA was able to get going. It was tough from there.”

Jones led the Wildcats in the first with seven points and nine rebounds. The strong half came after Jones put up 26 points and eight rebounds in the tournament opener against Oregon.

In the second half, Arizona wasn’t able to cut any further into UCLA’s lead. The Bruins shot 47 percent in the second half and 41 percent for the game. The Wildcats did outscore the Bruins 23-18 in the final quarter.

Workman finished with seven rebounds to go with five points. 

The game marked Butts' final game as Arizona's head coach.

"These young ladies are capable of a whole lot," Butts said after the game. "Hopefully they work in the offseason. They certainly have the potential to be a whole lot better. I wish them nothing but the best."

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