Arizona Women's Basketball

Arizona to be more on the defensive following exhibition win over West Texas A&M

Information from the Arizona media-relations department contributed to this report

Former ASU player Jade Loville made her Arizona debut against another opponent in Thursday’s exhibition win over West Texas A&M (Andy Morales/


Arizona can certainly score with its array of playmakers and shooters and that was proven by eclipsing the 80-point mark against West Texas A&M in an exhibition at McKale Center on Thursday night.

Adia Barnes, entering her seventh season as head coach at her alma mater, had four double-digit scorers — including former Arizona State standout Jade Loville, a fifth-year player who topped the Wildcats with 20 points in the 86-63 win in front of 2,763 fans.

Veteran Cate Reese, playing her fifth season with the Wildcats, using the extended eligibility due to the COVID-19-affected season of 2020-21, totaled 13 points.

Freshman Paris Clark added 11 on 4-of-7 shooting from the field and fellow heralded recruit, point guard Kailyn Gilbert, had 10 points.

Barnes harped on the defense, however, in the radio postgame interview and during the postgame press conference.

The problem: West Texas A&M shooting 46.7 percent (7 of 15) from 3-point range and outshooting Arizona 44.6 percent to 41.9.

“Fourth quarter, awful,” Barnes said. “We got outscored by two. We allowed 60 percent from two and 67 percent from the three (in the fourth quarter). That’s not characteristic of us. And I don’t think in an exhibition game in my career we’ve allowed 45 percent from two and 47 percent from three—in my career—so we have a lot of work to do. Was not good defense at all.”

Newcomer Esmery Martinez, a West Virginia transfer, had a game-high 12 rebounds, getting six on each end of the floor.

Another high-profile freshman (and sister of former men’s standout Zeke Nnaji) — Maya Nnaji — had five rebounds in 14 minutes.

Every member of the team had at least one rebound as Arizona owned a 46-38 advantage on the boards.

WTAMU was only able to pull in eight rebounds on the offensive end of the court and scored just nine points off of those second chances.

The Wildcats, who finished with 18 steals, scored 20 points off of 25 WTAMU turnovers.

Clark and Shaina Pellington each had four steals.

Lemyah Hylton, yet another heralded Class of 2022 recruit, finished with six points.

Arizona plays another exhibition on Wednesday against Cal State Los Angeles at 6 p.m. The regular season starts Nov. 10 when Arizona hosts NAU at 6:30 p.m.


#30 Loville,Jade

  • PTS 20
  • FGM 10
  • 3FGM 0
  • FTM 0
  • MIN 25

#25 Reese,Cate

  • PTS 13
  • FGM 6
  • 3FGM 1
  • FTM 0
  • MIN 24

#22 Clark,Paris

  • PTS 11
  • FGM 4
  • 3FGM 1
  • FTM 2
  • MIN 13

#15 Gilbert,Kailyn

  • PTS 10
  • FGM 5
  • 3FGM 0
  • FTM 0
  • MIN 16
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