Last season, Arizona put on a show in McKale Center by beating a top 10 ranked UCLA team in a 92-66 routing while shooting 55 percent from the field.
Shooting wasn’t the strength for coach Adia Barnes’ team in Friday night’s game against UCLA. This time it was the defense that stepped up by holding UCLA to 39 percent from the field in the Wildcats’ 68-65 victory.
In the second half, Arizona’s defense shined forcing UCLA to hit a cold stretch going 1-for-21 from the field while having runs of 6-0 and 9-0 to help take a 48-43 lead, its first advantage since the 2:44 mark in the first quarter.
The star of the first half for Arizona was Trinity Baptiste, who led Arizona with 11 points, seven rebounds and hit a late three-pointer to cut into the UCLA lead right before the half. Baptiste finished with 18 points, 11 rebounds, and had two blocked shots.
While star player Aari McDonald had a rough start to the game, going 3-for-7 from the field with six points. McDonald would finish the game going 7-for-16 with 17 points, four rebounds, and five assists.
Here are Baptiste and McDonald talking about the narrow win over UCLA, and they gave their thoughts on holding the Bruins to 1-of-18 from the field in the third quarter:
Arizona coach Adia Barnes was worried about her team’s lack of games and playing No. 9 UCLA to open up conference play. Here’s what Barnes had to say about her team’s gritty victory, and she gave her thoughts on what type of player Baptiste is on the court:
FOLLOW TROY HUTCHISON ON TWITTER!
ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com writer Troy Hutchison hails from Tucson and is a lifelong Arizona Wildcats follower. He has been involved in sports journalism over the last two years while taking communications courses at Pima Community College.