Arizona will look to go 3-0 following two challenging games at the Virgin Islands this week with a game against Rutgers on Saturday in the Paradise Jam.
The game tips at 1:15 p.m. and will be streamed live on ESPN3 and broadcast on radio at KTUC (1400-AM).
Adia Barnes’ ninth-ranked team (6-0) has narrowly defeated Vanderbilt 48-46 on a last-second shot by Shaina Pellington and 75-68 against DePaul in a tight game throughout.
Rutgers (4-3) has lost to DePaul and Vandy in the three-day event at the University of Virgin Islands.
The Scarlet Knights are without legendary head coach C. Vivian Stringer, who is taking a leave of absence because of COVID-19 concerns. She is taking care of her 40-year-old daughter, who has required special care since contracting spinal meningitis at age 2.
Cate Reese had 19 points to lead four players in double figures for Arizona against DePaul on Friday.
Pellington had 12 of her 14 points in the second half, Lauren Ware added 12 points and Ariyah Copeland had 10 for the Wildcats, who battled with DePaul through six lead changes.
“They just got hyped,” Barnes said of DePaul. “They really drove it down our throats. A lot of times, they were playing with four guards, and matchup-wise it was a little difficult at times.
“Still, long-term these are great experiences. Years ago, these kind of games we would’ve lost. From a learning advantage, there are some that we have to get better at.”
Plan on Arizona being more aggressive on its rebounding against Rutgers.
The Blue Demons finished with a 42-39 rebounding advantage.
“One area we need to get better in is boxing out,” Barnes said. “We can’t give up 22 offensive rebounds in a game.”
Osh Brown, a graduate transfer from Ball State with 1,542 career points, is the NCAA Division I active career leader in rebounds with 1,185 and in double-doubles with 50.
Brown grabbed her first Rutgers double-double in the Paradise Jam opener with a 20-point, 20-rebound performance against DePaul, Rutgers’ first since Betnijah Laney’s in 2014 against North Carolina. Brown now ranks 16th in the country and tops in the Big Ten with 11.3 rebounds per game.