Niya Butts spoke in her post-game press conference for seven minutes 12 seconds.
Her first words were about Stanford as a team, her last about Stanford as an institution.
In between, she spoke a little about Arizona’s struggles in Friday night’s 96-52 loss to the No. 4-ranked Stanford at McKale Center.
She touched on how the Wildcats started strong, then, essentially, fell off a cliff.
Mostly, though, it was all about the Cardinal.
At one point, she was asked what about Stanford impressed her most.
“They share the ball well,” she said, then paused. “It’s hard to say what you’re most impressed with when every statistical category is pretty dang good.”
It only took Stanford about seven minutes 16 seconds before the Cardinal gave Butts good reason to prop them up.
The Wildcats (4-12, 0-5 Pac-12) opened the game hitting six of eight shots, an anomaly in a season that has seen Arizona struggle to start virtually every game.
On an Erica Barnes layup, the Wildcats were within two points, 15-13, with 14:47 left in the first half.
“We were executing what we wanted to do defensively and offensively,” Butts said, “but we didn’t do that in the second half. Not at all. I thought our disposition was poor, I didn’t like our demeanor on the floor.”
Then, Stanford star Chiney Ogwumike hit a layup, and once Taylor Greenfield hit a three with 12:44 to go, the wheels fell off.
The Cardinal outscored the Wildcats 37-18 in the rest of the first half and 44-21 in the second.
In fact, when Arizona freshman Ashley Merrill hit a three with 13:30 left, Arizona was down 66-40. So, Stanford went on a 20-1 run for good measure.
In the end, Stanford (16-1, 5-0) hit 15 threes, shot 63.5 percent from the field, out-rebounded the Wildcats 35-21 and had 28 assists on 40 field goals with just nine turnovers.
Oh, and Ogwumike scored 24 points on 12-of-13 shooting with 12 rebounds, and she was taken out for good with 9:54 to go.
As Butts said, that’s “pretty dang good.”
“I honestly believe that I thought we could win,” said Barnes, who scored 10 points. “Until this day, I thought that we could win. We just have to find it within ourselves, the toughness, we have to find it.
Butts added: “I don’t think we competed for the entire game. In every game we’ve been in before, if the outcome was a loss, at least I could come out here and say, ‘At least we competed until the buzzer’. This particular game I don’t think we did that. I didn’t see the same fight I typically see in our team, that was a little disappointing. Actually, a lot disappointing.”
Now, the Wildcats have dropped five straight — the first five games of Pac-12 play, in fact — and it doesn’t get much easier.
Monday, No. 15 Cal comes to Mc-Kale Center. The Golden Bears (12-4, 4-1) lost to ASU on Friday.
“I’m excited, I really am excited,” said Kama Griffitts, who scored a team-high 12 points. “This game’s over, we’re on to the next one and, like Erica said, we still believe we can win. Every team is beatable, we just have to come in ready.”