Aari McDonald is getting noticed nationally … of course, she is.
The redshirt UA sophomore guard, a three-time Pac-12 Player of the Week and the nation’s second-leading scorer, was named to the Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 Watch List on Wednesday. McDonald is the first Wildcat since Shawntinice Polk (2003-04) to be named to the Wooden Award Midseason Watch List.
After becoming the first player in Arizona history to score at least 30 points in back-to-back games this past weekend, McDonald now averages 25.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.6 steals per game on 46 percent shooting.
McDonald is the only player in school history to score at least 15 points in the first 14 games of the season and has four games in which she has scored at least 30 points, including tying the school record with 39 points against Loyola Marymount in the second game of the season.
The last Wildcat to score at least 30 points in four or more games was head coach Adia Barnes during her senior year in the 1997-98 season.
To go along with McDonald’s Pac-12 leading 25.4 points per game, she ranks second in the conference in steals at 2.6 per game. Against Colorado on Friday, Jan. 4, she had eight steals, which is the second-most any Wildcat has recorded in one game.
Through three Pac-12 contests, McDonald is averaging 30 points, 7.3 rebounds, 4.0 steals and 3.0 assists per game.
McDonald has been the catalyst on both ends of the floor for the Wildcats all season, who are 12-2 and won a program-record 11-consecutive games from mid-November through early January. For the first time in 15 years, Arizona finished the month of December undefeated (6-0).
The Fresno native has played a critical role in helping the defense rank first in in the Pac-12 in scoring defense (52.6 ppg), three-point pct. defense (28.6%), steals per game (10.3 spg) and second in field goal pct. defense (34.8%). Additionally, Arizona forces a conference-best 18.9 turnovers per game with the help of McDonald.
Next up for McDonald and the Wildcats are the Bay Area schools in McKale Center starting with No. 24 California on Friday, Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. MST. Both games will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.
Arizona’s sports communications office provided the information for this story.