Arizona Women's Basketball

Arizona Wildcats rout USC, face No. 1 seed Oregon in Pac-12 Tournament Quarterfinals

Information from Arizona’s media relations department contributed to this report.

The Arizona Wildcats (18-12) reached plenty of unparalleled success in their 76-48 win Thursday afternoon over USC (17-13) in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Arizona’s 28-point victory is its largest in conference tournament history and it was also the first time since the 2008 Pac-10 Tournament that Arizona held an opponent to fewer than 50 points.

The Wildcats’ field goal percentage of 57.4 percent is also the highest in their history of Pac-12 tournament games.

Arizona advanced to the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 tournament (Arizona Athletics photo)

Freshman forward Cate Reese recorded a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds in her first-career conference tournament game. She now has six double-doubles this season. It was her first since Jan. 27.

Aari McDonald scored 19 points to go along with seven assists and four rebounds. She reached the 1,000-career point mark tonight and also cracked the Pac-12’s top 10 single-season scoring list.

Tee Tee Starks knocked down four 3-pointers to give her a career-high 14 points while Sam Thomas, a former Las Vegas Centennial High School standout returning home, made all four of her shots to give her 10 points.

Arizona held USC to 26 percent shooting. The Wildcats are now 13-0 when winning the rebounding battle as they outrebounded the Trojans 41-28.

Not only did Arizona control the boards, they outscored the Trojans 40-20 in the paint.

Arizona shot 53 percent in the first quarter and got a combined 15 points from Starks and Destiny Graham to give the Wildcats a 21-14 lead.

Reese went off in the second quarter and outscored USC 13-7 by herself as Arizona opened a 44-21 lead heading into the second half. The Cats shot 60 percent from the field in the second quarter and held USC to 1-of-16 shooting.

Arizona extended their lead to 33 in the fourth quarter and cruised to victory, giving coach Adia Barnes her first career Pac-12 Tournament Win.

Today, Arizona will face top-seeded Oregon in the quarterfinals at 3 p.m., Tucson time. Arizona was routed by the Ducks last week at McKale Center.

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