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Icelandic forward Birna Benonysdottir to transfer from Arizona women’s basketball

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: NOV 29 Women’s UC Riverside at Arizona Photo by Jacob Snow/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Icelandic forward Birna Benonysdottir entered the transfer portal on Wednesday, per sources, becoming the second underclassman to leave the Arizona Wildcats this offseason, the other being sophomore guard Bryce Nixon.

Benonysdottir’s departure, like Nixon’s, does not come as a surprise after she only appeared in 10 games and amassed 44 minutes as a freshman.

Posts Cate Reese, Semaj Smith, Sevval Gül all have multiple years of eligibility left, and Arizona is trying to add a transfer to the frontcourt in addition to five-star recruit Lauren Ware, meaning playing time would again have been hard to come by for Benonysdottir for the next couple of years.

“I think with this generation, I think kids don’t want to sit and have patience and work and wait,” Arizona coach Adia Barnes said Tuesday, not referring to Benonysdottir specifically. “And I think that’s why you’re seeing 500 kids (in the portal) and there’s nothing wrong with that. If your objective is to play and you go down to a level where you can do that, I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I think it’s a good thing.”

In her limited minutes with the Wildcats, Benonysdottir logged eight points, six rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block while shooting 3 for 7 from the field and 2 for 4 from 3.

Before enrolling at the UA, the 6-foot-3 post averaged 12.0 points and 4.0 rebounds while helping Iceland finish in 10th place at the U20 European Championships.

When asked before the season why she chose Arizona, Benonysdottir said, “I just wanted to improve my game and get better. That was the main reason I’m here.”