Previous to this season, the longest stretch of true road wins for Arizona was six games in 1993-94, a year before Adia Barnes’ playing career started with the Wildcats.
Joan Bonvicini’s team started that season 8-2 with the losses at home against traditional powers, No. 1 Tennessee and coach Pat Summitt and against Texas and coach Jody Conradt.
The Wildcats won six consecutive games on the road in that stretch against Cal State Fullerton, UC Irvine, San Diego State, Weber State, ASU and Cal.
Now, 26 years later after Barnes became an All-American, WNBA champion and Arizona’s head coach, the 18th-ranked Wildcats have matched that six-game road winning streak in their school-record 13-0 start.
They have opened the season winning at Chicago State, Texas, Montana, UTEP, ASU and USC. The Wildcats go for the school record of seven straight road wins against No. 10 UCLA on Sunday. The Wildcats and Bruins are both 13-0 overall and 2-0 in the Pac-12.
Arizona's Longest Road Winning StreaksLongest winning streaks on the road for Arizona since the program started in 1972-73:
3-0 Starts in Pac-12 Uncommon for Arizona
The Wildcats are 2-0 in the league for only the sixth time in program history after the 65-57 win at USC on Friday night.
Only two teams — 2000-01 with Reshea Bristol and Elizabeth Pinckney and 2003-04 with Shawntinice Polk and Dee-Dee Wheeler — started better than 2-0 in conference play. They each started 4-0.
Barnes’ team faces a severe uphill battle to surpass 4-0 playing its next three games against top 10 teams — at No. 10 UCLA on Sunday and then hosting No. 3 Oregon State and No. 2 Oregon next weekend.
Arizona is on an unbelievable 19-game winning streak dating to the six-game run to the WNIT title last season. To say the streak is “magical” is an understatement.
— Arizona Women’s Basketball (@ArizonaWBB) January 4, 2020
Wildcats, Bruins two of six remaining unbeaten teams
After Sunday, the list of unbeaten teams nationally will be reduced to at least five with Arizona facing UCLA. Somebody must lose. The list of the unbeatens heading into this weekend:
No. 1 Connecticut (11-0)
No. 3 Oregon State (13-0)
No. 9 North Carolina State (13-0)
No. 10 UCLA (13-0)
No. 18 Arizona (13-0)
Unranked Kansas (11-0)
McDonald’s Double-Digit Scoring Streak Reaches 50 games
Aari McDonald has played 50 games at Arizona. In each of those games, she has scored in double-figures. Coincidentally, the Wildcats are 37-13 in those games after Barnes endured a 20-40 record in her first two seasons at her alma mater without McDonald.
Her 24 points against USC on Friday increases her total to 1,153 at Arizona. Counting her one season at Washington in 2016-17, McDonald has 1,426 points in her college career.
With more than half of the season’s schedule ahead and potentially a senior season next year, McDonald has a realistic shot of reaching 3,000 points in her career. Only 12 players in NCAA women’s hoops history have achieved that feat, including her former Washington teammate Kelsey Plum, who holds the record with 3,527 points.
Barnes recruited Plum and McDonald to Washington when she was a Husky assistant.
With this being McDonald’s fourth year in college (she sat out the 2017-18 season per transfer rules), the possibility exists that she will forego her senior season and enter the WNBA draft at season’s end. In terms of star power contemplating to leave Arizona early, that will rival Sean Elliott’s much-anticipated decision in 1988-89. He opted to return for his senior season and became the career scoring leader at Arizona and the Pac-10 because of that decision.
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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.