Arizona Women's Basketball

No. 19 Arizona Wildcats rout CSUN behind balanced effort

Jade Loville had 12 points and two steals for Arizona in its win over CSUN (Stephanie van Latum/Special to

None of Arizona’s players were in double-figure scoring into the second half Sunday despite scoring 45 points by halftime against Cal State Northridge (CSUN).

Jade Loville’s 3-pointer a minute into the the third quarter made her the first Wildcat to eclipse 10 points. She had 11 points at that time, which was actually close the Matadors’ 17 points.

The balance of No. 19 Arizona’s offensive execution and its dominating full-court pressure defense made the game over in a hurry against CSUN in its 87-47 victory at McKale Center

The Matadors’ Murderer’s Row of games to start the season — at California, Stanford and Arizona — is over with three big losses. The Golden Bears beat them 86-56 on Monday and the Cardinal dispatched them 104-40 on Wednesday.

Arizona (2-0) finished with five players in double-figure scoring led by freshman Kailyn Gilbert’s 16 points (5 of 10 from the field, 4 of 4 from the free-throw line). She was the Bang-the-Drum player, designated to bang a drum as player of the game.

Esmery Martinez finished with 15 points on 6-of-6 shooting from the field. Cate Reese (5 of 6 shooting) and Maya Nnaji each had 14 points. Loville finished with 12 points.

Nnaji, who made 8 of 9 shots from the free-throw line, played for the first time after missing Thursday’s opener against NAU because of tendinitis in her left knee. She drew a louder-than-usual applause from the crowd. An emphatic blocked shot a few seconds later drew some oohs and aahs. She finished with three blocked shots.

Another symbol of Arizona’s balance in what amounts to an 11-player rotation is Arizona’s bench outscoring CSUN’s 38-7.

The Wildcats shot 49.1 percent from the field after shooting 53.8 percent in the 113-56 win over NAU on Thursday in the season opener.

Arizona also continued to show its propensity to get to the free-throw line with its aggressive play. The Wildcats were 21 of 30 from the line in the win over the Lumberjacks and 25 of 30 against CSUN.

The Matadors were limited to 34.1 percent shooting from the field, including a 1-of-16 performance from 3-point range.

Arizona outrebounded CSUN 36-30 and outscored the Matadors 36-20 in the paint.

After outscoring NAU 35-5 in points-off-turnovers, the Wildcats dominated CSUN in that regard as well, 28-7. Arizona forced the Matadors into 24 turnovers.

CSUN took a 4-0 lead to open the game and it was all downhill from there for the Matadors.

Arizona went on a 16-0 run, followed by a 12-0 stretch to take a 28-6 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Wildcats shot 62.5 percent in the first quarter and committed only two turnovers.

Reese made all three of her shots for six points and Martinez and Loville each had five points in the quarter.

Lauren Fields made the crowd get to its feet following two crossover moves while she attacked the basket, finishing with a shot and an and-one opportunity on one play. She had four points in the first quarter and finished with that many.

Loville was the leading scorer at halftime with eight points when Arizona led 45-17. Reese and Gilbert each had seven points. Another freshman, Lemyah Hylton, had three steals in the first half. She finished with four steals.

NOTES: Paris Clark, also a freshman, was not in uniform because she had a “really bad headache,” Barnes said. She finished with six steals in the opener against NAU. … The Wildcats next play Friday at home against Loyola Marymount at 6:30 p.m. on Native American Heritage Night.

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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