Arizona started its two-game road swing, ending with an anticipated game at Texas on Sunday, with an 82-50 rout at Chicago State tonight as the Wildcats limited the Cougars to only 13 field goals while forcing 28 turnovers.
The Wildcats, led by Aari McDonald’s 24 points, held Chicago State (0-3) to only 26 percent shooting from the field. They outscored Chicago State 44-7 in points-off-turnovers.
Arizona (3-0) was sloppy itself with 22 turnovers and its 25 personal fouls allowed Chicago State to shoot 29 times from the free throw line, making 20.
“It’s hard (with the turnovers). A lot of versatile players, really good at putting the ball on the floor, and I just felt like we were so undisciplined with fouling,” Arizona coach Adia Barnes said on the IMG radio broadcast postgame show. “Just little things. I didn’t think we played good basketball but it’s good to get a road win — it’s our first road win — but definitely, we have a lot to work on. … Not a great performance by us.”
McDonald was the Wildcats’ lone scorer in double figures until 6-foot freshman guard Helena Pueyo made a layup with 5:13 left in the game to give her 11 points. She finished with seven steals.
“(Pueyo) anticipates really well and she is long so she is kind of deceptive. She has a really good feel for the game, a high IQ,” Barnes said.
Semaj Smith celebrated her birthday finishing with 10 points and nine rebounds while Cate Reese had eight points and eight rebounds. Despite their efforts, the Wildcats outrebounded a smaller Chicago State lineup 35-32.
Freshman Mara Mote led the Wildcats with four assists with eight points in 17 minutes. Fellow freshman Tara Manumaleuga had nine points going 3 of 3 from 3-point range.
Birthday girl having a nice first half with five points and two rebounds in just seven minutes. She’s also a perfect 3-3 from the charity stripe.
4:40 2Q | Arizona 35, CSU 14 pic.twitter.com/Pe41UInVxF
Arizona went 0 of 5 from 3-point range in the first quarter but was 6 of 12 thereafter.
The Wildcats made all 13 of their free throw attempts.
“That is good because that is an area we have struggled,” Barnes said of the free throws. “We just have to get better. … We have to be more mindful on the road. You’re not going to get calls. We have to be more solid, more disciplined.
“We’re not at that stage yet.”
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.