After holding off Colorado in a gritty 62-59 comeback victory on Friday, Arizona continued its conference road trip by taking on a 2-3 Utah team that is still trying to find its footing this season.
The Wildcats dominated Utah in the paint 42-20 and 10 players scored in their 77-60 win Sunday over the Utes, improving to 6-0. It’s the first time in program history that the team has posted a 5-0 record in the Pac-12.
HISTORY MADE (AGAIN): No. 6 Arizona beats Utah 77-60 and starts 5-0 in Pac-12 play for the first time in school history, and also never done before — the Wildcats sweep the Utes and Colorado on the road.
— Javier Morales (@JavierJMorales) December 20, 2020
Throughout the early portion of the season, Arizona has found itself down early in games, trailing by double digits before making a run to win games. That wasn’t the case Sunday as the team caught fire early, shooting 57 percent from the field that led to a 28-17 lead in the first quarter.
Arizona was led by star guard Aari McDonald, who missed last season’s trip to Utah due to injury, with 19 points, six rebounds and six assists. McDonald also had six of the team’s 15 steals, which led to 29 points off turnovers for the Wildcats.
Here’s what McDonald had to say about her team’s performance and what they need to do to improve as the game against No. 1 Stanford is right around the corner on Jan. 1:
Through her first four games with the Wildcats, transfer guard Shaina Pellington has struggled to get any rhythm going, scoring an average of just 4.5 points a game.
During the team’s first conference road trip, Pellington shot 46-percent, scored 16 points and collected four rebounds helping her team earn its first road sweep in the Rockies since the beginning of the Pac-12 in 2011-12.
Arizona forced Utah into 22 turnovers, which led to 13 fast break points. The Wildcats limited their turnovers with 13, showing the ability to take care of the ball.
Here’s coach Adia Barnes talking about where her team sits in her eyes and how some stats can be deceiving when evaluating this squad:
After Barnes interview she jumped back on to clarify what her exact thoughts are on the COVID-19 vaccine:
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.