How important is a convincing win on ESPN’s national television broadcast?
The fruits of the labor that come with it.
In large part to No. 11 Arizona drubbing No. 10 Oregon last Thursday, ESPN writer Mechelle Voepel named Adia Barnes the Coach of the Week this morning in her weekly notes column.
“The Wildcats saw a 16-point lead in the third quarter get away on Jan. 10 when they lost in overtime at Washington State. So how did Barnes and her team respond to that disappointment?” Voepel asks. “They put the clamps on No. 10 Oregon on Thursday in a 57-41 victory that Ducks coach Kelly Graves said was one of the worst offensive performances he has seen from one of his teams. A lot of credit for that goes to the Wildcats’ non-stop pressure defense. Barnes got them to commit to that, and it paid off.”
Arizona’s win over Oregon was followed with a 67-51 win over Oregon State yesterday, another game in which the Wildcats’ fullcourt pressure defense wreaked havoc on an opponent.
In their first sweep in 10 years of the prestigious Oregon programs, the Wildcats held Oregon to 32.6 percent shooting from the field and forced 23 turnovers, while limiting Oregon State to 36.7 percent with 19 turnovers.
Arizona limited the Ducks and Beavers to a total of 33 field goals made while forcing 42 turnovers.
The Wildcats are sure to be ranked in the AP top 10 again today after being there for seven straight weeks, the longest stretch in school history, before losing at Washington State in overtime on Jan. 10.
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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.