Adia Barnes posted on social media this week the special trip ahead to Washington, where she won a WNBA title with the Seattle Storm and started her college coaching career as an assistant at Washington.
The fourth-year Arizona coach will lead the No. 21 Wildcats (13-3, 2-3 Pac-12) against Washington State (9-7, 2-2) tonight at 8 p.m. Tucson time (Pac-12 Network Washington/KTUC 1400-AM). Arizona will then play Sunday at Washington, where Barnes coached for five years, before she returned to alma mater to be head coach in 2016.
Barnes’ social media message: “Headed back to the 206 (area code). So many great memories. Storm fans we need you at the game in Red and Blue of course!!”
Barnes joined the staff at Washington in 2011 and helped boost the Huskies’ profile in the Pac-12 and nationally, culminating in a trip to the Final Four. After three seasons on staff, Barnes was promoted to recruiting coordinator, where she handled all aspects of recruiting including budget, compliance and planning, in addition to her role in player development.
She was responsible for recruiting Kelsey Plum from San Diego and Aari McDonald (now with the Wildcats) from Fresno while at Washington.
She won a WNBA Championship with the Seattle Storm in 2004 and was named to the Storm’s All-Decade Team. She also played for Cleveland, Minnesota and Sacramento.
— Arizona is third the country in scoring defense (49.6 points a game). The Wildcats’ field goal percentage defense (32.7 percent) is fifth in the nation and first in the Pac-12.
— Over its last four games, Arizona is shooting 93 percent from the free throw line (39 of 42).
— Arizona has been ranked in the AP Poll for eight straight weeks for the first time since the 2002-03 season, when it was ranked 15 times.
Road work 🚧 pic.twitter.com/TsqaJydteH
— Aari McDonald was named to the Wooden Award Midseason Top 25. McDonald, who is 14th on the Arizona career scoring list, is 16th in the country in scoring and leads the Pac-12 (20.1 points a game). McDonald has scored in double-figures in 53 straight games, her entire Arizona career. Her streak is the second-longest active one in the nation (Texas A&M’s Chennedy Carter is at 55) and the longest in the Pac-12. Since the turn of the century, 53 games is the third-longest double-figure scoring streak among Pac-12 players.
— Cate Reese was named Pac-12 Player of the Week twice in December and was the first player in the Pac-12 to be named Player of the Week twice this season. Reese’s six double-doubles is the fifth-most in the Pac-12.
— Dominique McBryde returned to action against Oregon State last week after missing six games due to injury. Helena Pueyo, however, suffered a similar injury against the Beavers and is out indefinitely. She did not play Sunday against Oregon.
— Sam Thomas is the only player in school history to have 100 career made threes and blocks and is one of two current Pac-12 players with 100 career threes and blocks (Stephanie Watts of USC is the other).
— Arizona is the only team in the Pac-12 to allow fewer than 50 points per game and is one of three teams in the nation to do so.
Washington State notables
— Washington State enters the week on a two-game winning streak after collecting a pair of victories on the road at California (Jan. 5) and at Washington last weekend. It was the first time since the 2014-15 season that the Cougars have collected back-to-back road wins in Pac-12 play.
— In just a season-and-a-half on the Palouse, Washington State head coach Kamie Ethridge has captured 18 wins, which is the second-most victories collected by a head coach during their first two seasons with the Cougars.
— Last Saturday at Washington, fifth-year senior Borislava Hristova became the first WSU women’s basketball player in program history to score more than 2,000 points in her career. She is the 23rd women’s player in Pac-12 history to accomplish the feat. Hristova’s 2,006 career points are the most ever scored by a WSU basketball player on either the men’s or women’s side. The previous record was held by Isaac Fontaine, who scored 2,003 points for the men’s team from 1994-97.
— Tonight’s game against Arizona will open a new decade of Washington State women’s hoops at Beasley Coliseum. The Cougars went 60-70 at home from 2010-2019. This year’s version of the Cougars stand at 5-2 at home, while Washington State is 12-11 inside Beasley under Ethridge.
— Washington State’s nine wins this season equals the nine-win total from last year’s team with 14 games remaining on the schedule this season.
— The game tonight will have an international flavor with Washington State having eight foreigners on its roster and Arizona six.
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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.