Arizona Women's Basketball

No. 6 Arizona, without injured Ware, tops North Dakota State

Ariyah Copeland tried to offset the absence of Lauren Ware by scoring 13 points, including six late to help Arizona pull away from North Dakota State (Andy Morales/

Arizona was without starting center Lauren Ware most of its 59-47 win over North Dakota State on Thursday night after Ware suffered a right knee injury 30 seconds into the game.

Ware clutched her right knee when she fell to the ground 30 seconds into the game while trying to grab a rebound.

She was helped off the court and was tended to in the locker room before returning to the Wildcats’ bench in the second quarter using crutches with a brace on her knee.

Arizona coach Adia Barnes mentioned after the game that Ware’s knee will be examined by a doctor and that she may be out a week or two weeks.

Lauren Ware suffered a right knee injury early in Arizona’s game with North Dakota State on Thursday (Andy Morales/

The standout post player who is in her second season in the program tore her left ACL in high school, forcing to miss her senior season.

She was averaging 8.3 points and 5.4 rebounds a game.

Arizona at times looked out of sorts without Ware on the floor against North Dakota State (3-5) with 7,037 at McKale Center.

The Wildcats (8-0) led 15-6 after the first quarter but North Dakota State rallied to cut the lead to 19-16 with 5:38 left before halftime.

A late surge including consecutive shots made by Shaina Pellington — including one at the buzzer of the first half — put Arizona ahead 31-21 at halftime.

North Dakota State cut the lead to 33-26 with 6:00 left in the third quarter before Arizona scored seven unanswered points on a 3-pointer by Pellington and two fast-break layups by Cate Reese.

The Bison again threatened, cutting Arizona’s lead to 47-42 with 6:46 left.

Two free throws by Ariyah Copeland and two more layups by Pellington pushed the lead to 53-42 with 5:00 left.

Heaven Hamling’s 3-pointer with 4:29 left was the last field goal North Dakota State made.

Copeland accounted for the next six points in the game to put Arizona ahead 59-45 with 1:06 remaining.

Shaina Pellington continued her productive play from when Arizona was in the Paradise Jam at the Virgin Islands (Andy Morales/


Pellington finished with 16 points, Reese had 13 points and six rebounds and Copeland finished with 13 points.

Hamling was North Dakota State’s lone scorer in double figures with 14 points.

The Bison shot 35.4 percent from the field, topping Arizona’s 34.9 percent. Arizona made only 3-of-17 shots from 3-point range.

The difference in the game was Arizona’s defense forcing North Dakota State to commit 25 turnovers that led to 27 points.

Arizona next plays New Mexico on Sunday at 1 p.m. at McKale Center.

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