Arizona women’s basketball is now 1-1 in Pac-12 play after a one-point loss to No. 5 Colorado at home. The Wildcats lost to the Buffaloes by the score of 75-74.
“Credit to Colorado, Colorado’s a really good team,” Adia Barnes said. “They have a team that the core has been together for a long time and they had success last year and they’re better this year than last year. And they’re tough to play against.”
Our recap can be found here. Here’s what head coach Adia Barnes had to say after the loss.
On if players think about shooting threes when facing a zone defense:
“No, and typically we don’t. I think what made it harder was we didn’t always have two posts. So, when you’re running like a movement—their zone is always really high—so, in the past, we had a lot of success by going low, bringing the zone down. Well, going low to a post-player, then you have a guard cutting, so it’s not as effective as some of the action. And I thought that we held the ball a lot. A lot of times they were trapping on the wing, and we were holding the ball. So, two passes after a trap, and you’re going to get an open shot. So we’ve never gotten to that ball reversal. And I think Kailyn (Gilbert) held the ball a little bit, Esmery (Martinez) wasn’t popping out. We weren’t ever getting to our movements, so the ball was super stagnant. Really high, like this far above the three-point line. So, you can’t do that. And I think they did a good job. Colorado, credit to them. Their defense is aggressive.”
On Isis Beh being out against No. 5 Colorado and being in concussion protocol:
“She’s probably going to be out a couple more days. I don’t anticipate her playing (Sunday). She could but not probable. But she’ll be back next week, so she will be back for the next game. Barring nothing else happens.”
On what was the message to start the second half:
“Just a message for what the areas I thought we could exploit. I thought we did a really good job. We isolated some people. Skylar (Jones) and Helena (Pueyo) did a good job. Asking them to battle against Quay (Miller), that is not easy. They’re guards they don’t want to be playing the post against a 6-2, really good post player. But they are trying. I mean Skylar has probably never done that in her life. So, I’m proud that they moved around and did some good things, but it’s not easy. We can’t run as much stuff because I can’t say, ‘Skylar, learn 10 new plays.’ I can say, ‘Okay, here are the four we’re going to run when you are playing the four.’ Or Helena. Definitely wanted to get Helena involved. We wanted to make them have to guard us in some action when Helena is at the four. Their post has to guard a guard, and she’s really effective at popping and stuff. But I felt like we didn’t do a great job of looking for her in some of those situations.”
“Which in those the things like the film we have to learn off them. We have to learn from so we can see what areas we need to get better at. Because right now we’re not able to do that in practice because you can’t play 39 minutes, turn around and practice tomorrow. So that hurts because you need reps. For freshmen and young players, they need the repetition. They’re not experienced enough to apply something. Esmery can say, ‘Oh, I shouldn’t have slapped down on some of those.’ The freshman needs to be put in a situation. We have to go back and do it. Esmery she’s done that a lot of times. So that’s kind of going to affect us a little bit.”
On their defense tonight:
“We’re not good defensively right now. We’re just not. We did some good things. We fought. We played hard. But we aren’t a good defensive team right now and we don’t have the personnel to play the way I want to play. But they’re trying and they’re getting better and they’re getting there. So we’re going to get better. We are a lot better than we were before, but the areas that we’re not good at we have to improve on those areas. And I thought last year was different because some of the players didn’t want to play defense. They wanted to just score. They’re like, ‘Defense?’ I don’t want to play defense. I don’t play defense.’ But this year they want to, but it’s just the experience. Think about it, a lot of times we had three freshmen and a sophomore… So that’s four players that are on the floor that don’t have that experience. At this level, the game experience so it shows in certain times of the games.”
On what the seven available players proved to the conference:
“I’m proud of them. They proved they have heart. They’re cohesive. They’re together. They have each others’ backs. That they’re resilient and they want to do what I ask and they want to do their best, and that’s all I can ask for. So, I’m not mad about this game. I’m upset—like I’m disappointed that we didn’t win—but it’s not something that I’d hang my head over. They’re a good team. They’re a little bit better than we are right now. They’re a little deeper and a little bit more experienced, so that’s where we’re at. But if I can get us to continue to play like this, we’re gonna win a lot more Pac-12 games and we can beat a lot of people. I think we wouldn’t have lost the games we lost in the nonconference if we played like this. So, I’m proud of what we did. Now, it’s just being able to shift and, okay, we can’t give up 17 offensive rebounds. To lose by one giving up 17 offensive rebounds is pretty remarkable. In our conference, you could lose by 30 doing that. So, we have to improve these things. We have to box out better. We have to not have the unnecessary turnovers, not give up those transition buckets that caused us rotation, then we are vulnerable for rebounds, so it’s all correlated. And then we just have to get better, fast. But we did so many good things that really make me optimistic about the future.”
On keeping Frida Formann’s offensive numbers down:
“One of the keys was finding her in transition. She loves to run on the right side of the floor, not letting her get back cut. We gave everybody else them. But then I think just learning as a team. She’s one of their best players and she makes them go, she spreads the floor, she’s a really good player. I love her game but if you shut her down, then you can't let (Sara-Rose) Smith come in off the bench and dominate us. I mean she came in 3-for-6, nine rebounds, seven points in 19 minutes. She really hurt us. And then we know (Jaylyn) Sherrod. We know she’s really good in transition. We know the kid’s game. She’s a catalyst of offense and defense for them. We can’t let her continuously get layups without any help. We can’t do that. So, those are things, they got to give a little bit more space. And Jada (Williams) and I talked about that, and we were better in the second half. She’s fast so, give her a little bit more space, especially when you get to when you’re in the backcourt. Or, don’t sky and go for a steal in the back court and then we’re five on four in the front court. So, stuff like that. Those are experience things that you learn and you learn to pop back a little bit more and trust your teammates are gonna help but just those things.”