Arizona Women's Basketball

Arizona tops cold-shooting, turnover-prone Rutgers to go 3-0 in Paradise Jam


Arizona’s defense and Rutgers’ breakdowns on offense led to the ninth-ranked Wildcats dominating the Scarlet Knights on Saturday in their last day of the Paradise Jam at St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.

The Wildcats built leads of 12-2 in the first quarter and 46-8 at halftime en route to their 80-44 win to improve to 7-0 overall. Adia Barnes’ team went 3-0 in the Paradise Jam with wins over Vanderbilt, DePaul and Rutgers.

Cate Reese was the MVP of the three-day event while fellow captain Sam Thomas joined her on the All-Paradise Jam team.

Rutgers (4-4) made 17.6 percent of its field goal attempts and committed 26 turnovers while producing only two assists.

Reese again had a stand-out game with 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting. She was coming off a 19-point performance in the win over DePaul on Friday.

Freshmen frontcourt players Aaronette Vonleh and Gisela Sanchez combined for 12-of-19 shooting with 27 points and six rebounds. Sanchez had 15 points and Vonleh 12.

Sam Thomas’ defense exemplified how Arizona shut down Rutgers (Arizona Athletics photo)

Arizona made 54.5 percent of its shots and amassed 20 assists led by Madison Conner’s four and three each by Lauren Ware and Thomas.

The Wildcats do not have a game scheduled until Dec. 9 against North Dakota State at McKale Center. Their Dec. 3 game at UC Riverside was canceled because of COVID-19 protocol administered within the Highlanders’ program.

Rutgers played without head coach C. Vivian Springer, who is on a leave absence this season for COVID-19 preventative reasons.

Osh Brown, who has 50 career double-doubles, finished with nine points and five rebounds to lead the Scarlet Knights.

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