Arizona Women's Basketball

No. 12 Arizona Wildcats Look to Continue Momentum Against Rocky Mountain Schools After Beating Wazzu

Add another “first” for Adia Barnes and her Arizona program.

The No. 12 Wildcats defeated Washington State 72-57 in front of 5,658 at McKale Center today to earn a season-series sweep over the Cougars. They did the same thing against Washington on Friday night.

Its Arizona’s first season sweep of Pac-12 traveling partners since 2010-11, when the Wildcats swept the Washington and Oregon schools.

Sam Thomas (Arizona Athletics photo)

Arizona (21-4, 10-4 Pac-12) had not swept a Pac-12 opponent, period, since 2010-11 before this season.

The Wildcats have now swept ASU, USC, Washington and Washington State in the regular season. They play the Rocky Mountain schools (Utah and Colorado) and Bay area schools (Stanford and Cal) only once this season — in the last two weekends of the season coming up.

The Wildcats, ranked No. 13 in the most recent NCAA Tournament Committee Rankings, improved to 16-0 against teams in Quandrants 2-4 (No. 51 RPI and lower).

They have not experienced a slip-up this season. They are 5-4 against Quandrant 1 teams (top 50 RPI).

Arizona, which led from start to finish, surged past Washington State behind its early fullcourt pressure defense and the combination of Aari McDonald and Sam Thomas.

McDonald scored 21 points to increase her double-digit scoring streak to 62 games, her entire Arizona career. It is the longest active streak in the nation. She also had two steals.

Thomas did not record a blocked shot like she normally does — she ranks No. 5 in Arizona history with 124 blocks — but she was valuable in so many ways. She had four steals to go with her six rebounds, four assists and 18 points (on 6-of-9 shooting from the field).

When Washington State made things uncomfortable late in the third quarter, scoring six unanswered points to dwindle Arizona’s lead to 53-42, Thomas responded with her third 3-pointer of the game.

She also made a free throw with 3 seconds left in the quarter after getting a defensive rebound. Arizona’s lead was restored to 57-42.

The Wildcats made 10 3-pointers compared to only one for Washington State. Thomas (3 of 4 from 3-point range), McDonald (3 of 5), Helena Pueyo (2 of 5) and Amari Carter (2 of 2) combined to shoot 10 of 19 from beyond the arc.

Washington State took only eight 3-point shots.

The Cougars were led by Borislava Hristova’s 18 points. Hristova, the 14th-leading scorer in Pac-12 history, had only six points in the second half.

Arizona, which has won seven of its last eight games, also controlled the boards 30-25 with Cate Reese tallying a team-best seven. McDonald also had six rebounds.

FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER! 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, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports,, 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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