Through the first three games of the season, the No. 6 Arizona Wildcats have gotten off to slow starts and have fallen behind early in games.
That all changed Thursday night as Arizona torched rival ASU, shooting 44 percent from the field and going 6-for-15 from behind the arc in the first half, lifting the Wildcats in a blowout 65-37 victory.
Arizona flexed its muscles on the defensive end by holding ASU to 27 percent from the field while creating 23 turnovers and controlled the glass 37-34 over the Sun Devils.
Against USC on Sunday, Aari McDonald scored 30 points while shooting 12-for-20 from the field, helping lift the Wildcats past the Trojans in a narrow 78-77 victory.
It was more of the same for McDonald versus ASU as the star guard dropped 22 points, going 8-for-17 from the field with seven rebounds and two assists.
Here’s McDonald and Sam Thomas talking about the hot start against ASU and gave insight on how the team can improve even after a 28-point victory:
Throughout the game, the Wildcats got a boost from their bench with 17 points led by Helena Pueyo, who finished with six points, three rebounds, and two assists.
Statistically, Arizona dominated, winning in almost every statistic imaginable, including outscoring ASU 24-11 in points-off-turnovers. There was no area in the stat-sheet where the Sun Devils won handily.
Thursday was the largest victory over the Sun Devils since coach Adia Barnes was a player at Arizona in 1998, when the Wildcats beat ASU 92-57 in Tucson.
Arizona is now 3-0 in conference play for the first time in 17 years when the Wildcats finished 14-4 and were co-champions of the Pac-10 with Stanford in 2003-04.
Here’s Barnes talking about her team improved play from last time out and how there are still areas that need some work moving forward:
Here’s a postgame recap by Troy Hutchison and AZ Desert Swarm’s Ryan Kelapire talking about what they saw from Arizona’s torching of ASU:
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.