Information from the Arizona media relations department contributed to this report.
Sophomore guard Aari McDonald broke the Arizona single-season scoring record after scoring 31 points on Sunday, but the California Golden Bears (16-11, 7-9 Pac-12) used a big second half to rally and knock off the Wildcats (17-10, 7-9) by a score of 82-76 in overtime.
McDonald had her seventh 30-point game of the season to go along with seven assists and four rebounds. She is just the third player in Pac-12 history since the 1999-00 season to have seven 30-point games in a season (matching Washington’s Kelsey Plum and Stanford’s Chiney Ogwumike).
The bank is still open for a record-breaking shot! pic.twitter.com/bOAEKhkEkG
Sam Thomas and Tee Tee Starks were Arizona’s two other double-figure scorers. Thomas finished the game with 13 points while Starks made four three-pointers to give her 12 points.
The Wildcats started the second quarter on a 17-0 run, which included a bucket by McDonald at the four-minute mark that gave her the Arizona single-season scoring record. She now has 672 points this season. Coach Adia Barnes held the previous record of 653 points for 21 years (set in 1997-98).
Arizona led at halftime 32-17 after the Bears shot just 14 percent in the second quarter.
Both teams shot better than 50 percent in the third quarter and Cal was able to outscore Arizona, but only by four points and the Wildcats took a 48-37 lead into the final period.
Cal really took off in the fourth quarter and outscored the Cats 26-15 to push the game to overtime after Kristine Anigwe made a free throw with a 3 seconds remaining. The Bears took that momentum into overtime and were able to come away with the win.
In her postgame radio show on KTUC 1400-AM, Barnes was critical of the officiating. Starting forward Dominique McBryde fouled out in only 18:26 of playing time. Barnes mentioned that four of the fouls against McBryde were “really bad calls that really hurt us.”
Questionable non-calls against Cal also drew her ire.
“I thought there were some awful calls down the stretch that really hurt us,” Barnes said. “I mean, if you can dive into our legs and it’s not a foul, I don’t know what to tell my kids. I’m disappointed in that but that’s not why we lost.
“We still should have found a way to win but I thought there were three, four or five really questionable (calls). And I’m not usually that person who questions fouls. We literally got screwed on a lot of calls.”
Arizona returns home for the final week of conference play starting with No. 2 Oregon on Friday. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. on the Pac-12 Networks.