Arizona Women's Basketball

No. 10 Arizona Wildcats focusing on Utah’s potent offense

The Oregon game last Saturday, with the 17-point lead squandered by Arizona, is in the past.

The uproar over the alleged spat between Arizona coach Adia Barnes and Oregon coach Kelly Graves is over with also (at least for now until the teams meet again Feb. 4 at McKale Center).

Utah, Arizona’s next opponent Friday, needs to be on the minds of the 10th-ranked Wildcats, and Barnes is trying to see to that as her comments reflected on Wednesday during her weekly press conference.

“In the Pac-12 we back up each other,” she said about the situation with Graves. “We don’t beat up each other. So it’s competitive. So no more questions about that.”

Questions will come up again, no doubt about it, the week leading up to the rematch with the Ducks, but the page will be turned for now to the match up against the competitive Utes.

The game tips off at 7 p.m. at McKale Center. The Pac-12 Network will broadcast the game live as will KTUC (1400-AM) on radio.

Utah is 9-4 overall with only one Pac-12 game played — an 83-73 loss at home against Stanford on Sunday — because of multiple postponements due to COVID-19 protocol.

The Utes have the top scoring offense in the conference at 84.7 points a game while Arizona is limiting opponents to a league-best 53.3 points per game.


Arizona — Adia Barnes achieved her 100th win at Arizona two weeks ago in her sixth season at her alma mater. Her record is 101-68 (which is also her career mark). Making that record especially impressive is the fact that Barnes started 20-40 in her first two seasons of rebuilding the program. She reached 100 wins faster than any other coach in program history at 166 games. Joan Bonvicini held the former record at 181 games. With two more wins, Barnes, who coached Arizona to its first Final Four and national championship game appearance last season, will trail only Bonvicini for the most wins in Arizona history. Bonvicini was 287-223 from 1991-2008 and Niya Butts was 102-147 from 2008-16.

Utah — Lynne Roberts also achieved her 100th win at her school when the Utes defeated UC Riverside on Jan. 14. She is 100-91 in her seventh season at Utah. She is 321-266 overall in 20 years of coaching also at Chico State (86-31 from 2002-06) and Pacific (135-144 from 2006-15). She was 84-45 in her last four seasons at Pacific. She is 4-5 against Arizona.


Cate Reese, who is now No. 9 on the Arizona career scoring list with 1,357 points, is one of only three active Pac-12 players to record 1,300 points and 700 rebounds in a career.

— Arizona ranks third in the Pac-12 in assists per game (16.1) and field-goal percentage (.450). Bendu Yeaney and Helena Pueyo lead the Wildcats each averaging 2.7 a game. Ariyah Copeland (.618 field-goal percentage) and Aaronette Vonleh (.612) are the Wildcats’ top shooters around the basket. Pueyo is shooting 43.3 percent from 3-point range.

— Pueyo ranks second in the Pac-12 with a 3.2 assist/turnover ratio and Sam Thomas is fourth (2.9).

— The Utes’ field-goal percentage defense is last in the Pac-12 allowing opponents to shoot 40.9 percent.

— They are 11th in blocked shots per game (2.6). Peyton McFarland, a 6-foot-4 freshman post player, leads the Utes with 0.7 blocked shots per game.


— Utah leads the Pac-12 in assists per game (18.7), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.37), field goal percentage (.467), scoring offense (84.7 points a game) and 3-point field goals made per game (10.9).

— Junior guard Brynna Maxwell has made 162 shots from 3-point range in the last three years. She ranks in the top 65 of the NCAA for made 3-pointers (36), 3-point field goals made per game (2.7), and 3-point percentage (44.4) this season.

Dru Gylten, a senior guard, had a season’s best 10 assists against Oklahoma on Dec. 21st. Gylten entered the season at No. 10 on Utah’s career assists list and has already moved to fifth. Shee leads the Pac-12 and is ninth in the nation in assists per game (6.1). She also is first in the Pac-12 with 79 assists.

— As of Wednesday, Arizona is 17th in the nation in field goal percentage defense (34.8), 14th in scoring defense (53.3), 16th in blocked shots per game (5.4) and 21st in steals per game (11.8).

Helena Pueyo ranks second in the Pac-12 with 2.1 steals per game while Bendu Yeaney is fifth (2.0).

FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER! 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, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports,, 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. He became an educator five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District

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