Rebounding has been a major point of emphasis for the Arizona Wildcats.
In the Cats' first two games, the results in that category have been positive. Coach Niya Butts marveled at the numbers after her team beat Northern Arizona 71-49 in the Cats' home opener Monday night.
Arizona (2-0) out-rebounded the Lumberjacks 65-28 and grabbed 28 offensive rebounds to NAU's six.
"We only gave them six offensive rebounds. That's pretty dang good for us," Butts said. "I think we've probably given up (28 offensive rebounds) before, but I don't know if we've ever personally attained that.
"Rebounding has certainly been a plus for us the last couple games."
Rather than a post player leading the team in rebounds, freshman guard Candice Warthen grabbed the most - 13, including five on the offensive end. She also scored 12 points.
"You get a double-double from a 5-foot-nothing point guard, and that's not in assists, that's in rebounds, I think that's pretty good," Butts said.
Warthen came off the bench, shot 5 of 7 from the field and dished out three assists.
"When I first started rebounding, everything was coming to me, so I just kept on crashing the boards," she said.
Senior forwards Soana Lucet and Ify Ibekwe each grabbed nine rebounds. Lucet led Arizona with 15 points. Ibekwe scored six points but picked up four fouls in 19 minutes.
"Everybody on our team can score, so we're trying to focus on rebounding and defense," Ibekwe said. "For us to have stats like this and 28 offensive rebounds are really good for us. We're going to continue that with the next game."
Arizona also won the rebounding battle in its season-opener, grabbing 56 rebounds to Wichita State's 48 Friday in an 81-72 overtime victory.
Ibekwe also dealt with foul trouble in the season opener. She fouled out with four points and eight rebounds.
"I just try to be aggressive every game, so I get kind of down sometimes because I feel like I'm not there for my team, but I'd rather be aggressive," Ibekwe said. "I don't like fouling or fouling out."
Arizona shot 31.4 percent in the second half after firing 51.6 percent to take a 39-19 halftime lead. NAU shot 30.4 percent.
Butts said she wants the Cats to take better care of the ball - they had 24 turnovers to 17 assists - and shoot better on free throws - they went 15 of 30.
UA adds class of four
The Cats announced Monday they signed 6-foot-5-inch center Aley Rohde of Pinnacle; guard Layana White of Lancaster, Calif.; guard Erin Butler of Mission Viejo, Calif.; and junior college transfer guard/forward Kama Griffitts from Coeur D'Alene, Idaho, for the 2011-12 class.
Rohde of Cave Creek averaged 16 points and nine rebounds and is the No. 11 post in the class, according to ESPN HoopGurlz.
White averaged 12.6 points at Bellarmine-Jefferson High School and was a second-team all-California Interscholastic Federation selection. ESPN HoopGurlz ranks her as the No. 45 point guard.
As a 2009-10 all-CIF first-team selection, Butler averaged 13.9 points and four rebounds.
Griffitts averaged 14.8 points as an honorable mention All-American at North Idaho College.
Arizona women's box score / B5
• What: Arizona at Mississippi
• When: 6 p.m. Thursday