Cate Reese’s shoulder just fine in Arizona’s NCAA tournament first-round win

Cate Reese played well in her return from a separated right shoulder suffered last month (Andy Morales/

Many questions lingered around Cate Reese, Arizona’s starting forward who made her return to the lineup Saturday for the first time since injuring her shoulder on Feb. 20 at Washington State.

In the 72-67 win over UNLV in the first round of the NCAA tournament, she answered those questions while showing a nearly packed McKale Center that she is still a dominating threat with the ball.

At the beginning of the game, Reese drained a 3-point shot at the top of the key. She ran back to the other side of the court, screaming, letting the fans know that despite wearing a heavily-wrapped shoulder brace, she will not let it deter her from playing her game.

“I thought she did great,” Arizona coach Adia Barnes said about Reese’s return. “Her shot was a little bit short sometimes on the perimeter. I thought her energy, her enthusiasm, I thought she played great. People ask if she’s 100 percent, yes she’s 100 percent, but she’s been out.

“She has injuries. It is what it is, but she played hard. She’s not hesitating at all. She has a little brace on. What she brings us, just her presence is more valuable than even her points, because you have to guard her. She’s aggressive.”

Reese made her return to the court and played 20 minutes, just 10 minutes shorter than what Barnes estimated she would play in Friday’s press conference.

She scored 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting, had three rebounds and added one assist and a steal.

During a tightly-contested fourth quarter, Reese had nine of her 16 points to close the game out on a dominating run.

“I mean, I was nervous, I was excited,” Reese said on how she felt about returning to the court. “I think my teammates did a great job of encouraging me. I think I missed some shots I normally would, but I haven’t played in a while, so I was a little rusty.

“But my teammates did a great job of finding me and encouraging me, and I was super excited to be back on the floor with them.”

The Wildcats will play North Carolina on Monday 7 p.m. at McKale Center in a second round game.

Reese will have yet another opportunity to show her shoulder is 100 percent healthy and prove why she is among the top players in the nation as an honorable-mention All-American.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
To Top