Ranked No. 6 in the latest AP Top 25 poll, the highest ranking in school history, the Arizona Wildcats are being recognized by the NCAA as the “Team of the Week” as they head toward a New Year’s Day showdown with No. 1 Stanford at McKale Center.
The Wildcats (7-0) are coming off a 96-42 win over Idaho on Dec. 23, showing no signs of looking past that game to the Cardinal and the Christmas break.
⭐️🏀 Team of the Week 🏀⭐️
No. 6 @ArizonaWBB continues to roll this week as they head towards a showdown with No. 1 Stanford on New Year’s Day.
— NCAA Women’s Basketball (@ncaawbb) December 29, 2020
Their bench accounted for 58 of the points.
Oklahoma transfer Shaina Pellington had a team-high 16 points and Helena Pueyo had all of her 14 points in the first half, while Cate Reese scored 12 points, All-American Aari McDonald added 11 points and six assists and Lauren Ware had 10 points and a career-high 13 rebounds.
Pueyo tied a career high with four 3-pointers.
McDonald, a 5-6 senior guard, is the reigning winner of the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award, which recognizes the top shooting guard in the country. She has scored in double figures in 73 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the NCAA and is now fifth in scoring in Arizona history.[table “101” not found /]
McDonald leads Arizona averaging 20.1 points per game.
The game with top-ranked Stanford is much anticipated nationally. Arizona defeated Stanford in its only meeting with the Cardinal last season, winning 73-72 in overtime in Tucson on Feb. 28.
Arizona, ranked No. 13, earned its first victory over a top 5 program with the win over No. 4 Stanford. McDonald hit the game-winning shot with eight seconds left in overtime.
The Wildcats are 0-5 against top-ranked teams with the last such meeting 14 seasons ago when former Arizona player Brenda Frese coached Maryland to a 75-61 win over her alma mater at College Park, Md., on Nov. 18, 2006.
Arizona Against No. 1-ranked OpponentsArizona is 0-6 against teams ranked No. 1 in the nation. Here are the results:
In other recent Arizona news:
— The Wildcats will play on nationally on ESPN for the first time in program history when they host Oregon on Jan. 14.
— Ware, a two-sport athlete who also excels in volleyball, earned the gold jersey award this week as being the top player in practice.
— InsideArizonaBasketball.com (@InsideAZWBB) December 29, 2020
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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.