Arizona Wildcats Upset No. 9 Oregon State, Earn First Win Over Top 10 Team on Road in Program History

Last week, Arizona ended a 52-game losing streak against top 10 teams with a victory over No. 8 UCLA.

Today, the No. 12 Wildcats won the program’s first road game against a top 10 team, beating No. 9 Oregon State 65-58 in overtime, ending a winless stretch of 61 games.

Arizona coach Adia Barnes was most pleased with how the Wildcats responded after losing 85-52 at No. 3 Oregon on Friday.

“I tested our team. How are we going to respond after getting our butts kicked? We stepped up today. I’m really proud of them,” she said during the postgame radio show on KTUC (1400-AM).

Dominique McBryde had a season-high 19 points (Arizona Athletics photo)

Sam Thomas went 0-for-the Oregon trip before making a wide-open 3-point attempt with 1:16 left in the overtime to give Arizona (19-4, 8-4) a 61-56 lead. She was 0 of 3 against Oregon and was 0 of 8 against the Beavers (19-5, 7-5) before knocking down the huge long-range jumper.

“She is always huge,” Barnes said of Thomas. “She’s huge on defense because she locks down the 2 (shooting guard),3 (small forward) and 4 (power forward). She’ll always be out there because of her defense.”

After Kat Tudor made a layup for Oregon State, Aari McDonald made two free throws with 18 seconds left to give Arizona a 63-58 lead. Destiny Slocum then missed a layup and Cate Reese grabbed the rebound.

Sam Thomas, Amari Carter and Aari McDonald (Arizona Athletics)

Dominique McBryde nailed two more free throws with 11.1 seconds left to put the game out of reach. Arizona made all 15 of its free-throw attempts in the game.

The win for Arizona, also ending a 12-game losing streak to the Beavers, is a major achievement for its quest to host the first and second round of the NCAA tournament. The Wildcats, rated No. 13 in the NCAA’s ranking last week, is in position to be one of the host sites before the regional round.

Barnes jokingly said that Arizona owed Oregon State after the Beavers won in the last seconds over the Wildcats the last two seasons.

“It’s really tough to beat them,” she said. “They slow the game down; we like to speed it up. … This was a very good win for us considering all the circumstances.”

McBryde had a strong start, making her first four attempts from the field, en route to a season-high 19 points with eight rebounds and four blocked shots. McDonald finished with 22 points, increasing her double-digit scoring streak to 60 games, her entire Arizona career. She also had nine rebounds.

Reese, beset by foul trouble after halftime, had 13 points and four rebounds. She made all six of her free throw attempts.

Mikayla Pivec, who beat Arizona at McKale Center with a last-second shot last month, also struggled with foul trouble and finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds. The Beavers made only 39 percent of their shots and 23.8 percent from 3-point range.

“We did a really good job of switching,” Barnes said of her defense. “When we isolated our players, we made shots. It seems like they missed a lot of shots down the stretch.”

Oregon State’s 36-31 lead at the half was more manageable for Arizona than the 39-22 deficit at the break at Oregon on Friday night.

The Wildcats managed to remain competitive in the third quarter despite three players assessed their third foul, including Reese, Amari Carter and Semaj Smith.

The equalizer was Pivec getting her third foul and sitting most of the period Without her, the Beavers’ offense was stagnant, shooting only 23.1 percent from the field. Taylor Jones also picked up her third foul in the quarter for the Beavers.

Arizona had a chance to win the game at the buzzer in regulation but McDonald’s jumper fell short.

The Wildcats next host the Washington schools, beginning with a game against the Huskies on Friday night. Expect a push for at least 10,000 fans to be made by Barnes and Arizona’s players.

“We’re tough,” Barnes said. “We didn’t show it Friday but we showed it today. I think that was important. It showed who we are.”


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.

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