There was a point on Tuesday night when Arizona senior Davellyn Whyte decided to completely take over against archrival Arizona State.
She scored 10 of the Wildcats' final 13 points in regulation, including a game-tying layup to force overtime. Over two extra periods, she added four more points, two more rebounds and an assist. When all was said and done, Whyte had played all 50 minutes, scored 31 points, pulled down 16 rebounds and dished 10 assists, notching the first triple-double in program history.
But the Cats didn't win and, to Whyte, that's all that mattered. Arizona State held on for an 81-77 win, putting a damper on Whyte's special night.
"It's hard to celebrate that after a loss," Whyte said of the triple-double. "The only stat I see right now is the L."
With the game tied at 77 and just over a minute left to play in the second overtime, Arizona's defense broke down, allowing consecutive layups (both relatively uncontested) to ASU's Micaela Pickens and Janae Fulcher, both of whom finished in double figures.
Whyte tried a three-pointer from the top of the key with 15 seconds left, but by then her magic had run out. The shot clanked off the rim and was rebounded by Arizona State. The Sun Devils held the ball as the clock ran out.
"This was my last chance to play them on that court," Whyte said.
Some consolation could come Sunday, when Arizona (12-14, 4-11 Pac-12) will travel to Tempe to play the Sun Devils (12-15, 4-11) for the second time in six days.
"Maybe when we go up there and play them again, it will happen again," she said, referring to her statistical dominance.
The 31 points was a season high.
Whyte also said she couldn't remember playing 50 minutes in a game before.
"My adrenaline was so high that I didn't know how many minutes I had under my belt."
Arizona coach Niya Butts called the triple-double "a milestone," but she was unhappy about her team's defensive performance toward the end.
"We let them score too easily," Butts said. "We should have been able to make a couple more stops than we did, but we let them have their way with us."
ASU's 6-foot-5-inch center Joy Burke had perhaps the easiest time in the paint, earning a double-double with 18 points and 10 boards.
Forwards Alli Gloyd and Erica Barnes each had 12 points for UA.
The Cats did show resilience, coming back from an 8-point first half deficit to take a 42-40 lead five minutes into the second half. The game was back-and-forth for the remainder.
"We knew we wanted to win," Barnes said.
Added Butts: "We came together. We made some plays, but it wasn't enough to get the win.
"This is a tough one to swallow."
• Who: Arizona at Arizona State
• When: 1 p.m. Sunday
• Radio: 1400-AM