Arizona and coach Adia Barnes were originally supposed to go on a road trip in Washington to take on both Washington and Washington State, but the Wildcats’ Friday night game against the Huskies was postponed due to COVID-19 concerns.
With one less game, the No. 7 Arizona had more time to prepare for a Washington State team that has shocked the conference with its 6-1 start to the season. The Wildcats came out strong leading by 11 points after the first quarter.
Thanks to some sloppy play and poor shooting in the fourth quarter by Arizona, the Cougars were able to force overtime and come up with a 71-69 upset over Barnes’ team.
Arizona shot an underwhelming 38 percent from the field and 40 percent from behind the 3-point line. Still, the fourth quarter was when the Wildcats fell apart, shooting 11 percent from the field while turning the ball over four times.
Not only did Arizona struggle to score in that quarter, forward Sam Thomas got into foul trouble and fouled out of the game with 7.4 seconds left in regulation, leaving the Wildcats without their best defensive player.
Thomas finished with nine points, which puts her over 1,000 career points. She is at 1,002 points.
— Javier Morales (@JavierJMorales) January 10, 2021
Star guard Aari McDonald couldn’t find her shot later in the game, going 0-for-3 from the field in the pivotal fourth quarter and then went 1-for-5 during overtime, finishing the game with 23 points on 9-for-20 shooting. She had 11 rebounds while dishing out seven assists.
Here’s McDonald talking about what went wrong in the fourth quarter and how the team can grow from the loss to Washington State:
Arizona struggled to keep control of the ball with 15 turnovers, and four of which came in the critical fourth quarter. From those turnovers, the team gave up 19 points. The Wildcats finished the game outrebounding Washington State 46 to 32 but the Cougars won the battle in the paint 42 to 26.
Here’s Barnes talking about what went wrong in the loss to Washington State:
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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.