Arizona Women's Basketball

Arizona handles business in McKale with 19-point win over Washington State

Arizona guard Helena Pueyo shoots against WSU in the Wildcats 64-45 win (Arizona Athletics photo)

In the first matchup between Arizona and Washington State in Pullman, Wash., last month, the Cougars beat Arizona by 21.

Friday night in Tucson, the outcome was very different. The Wildcats used stifling defense and their ability to score inside to take down Washington State 64-45.

Washington State scored the first basket of the game. That would be the only time the Cougars led in the game.

Arizona (13-12, 5-8 Pac-12) got off to a fast start with their defense causing three turnovers within the first three minutes and led 12-2.

The Wildcats never looked back, outscoring the Cougars 21-10 in the first quarter and 12-7 in the second quarter holding a 33-17 lead going into the locker room at the half.

The second half was more of the same, as the Wildcats outscored Washington State 31-28.

Esmery Martinez, after taking a hard fall in the Wildcats’ game against the Trojans last week, didn’t dress for the game.

“Her back just spasmed,” Arizona coach Adia Barnes said. “So, for us, like she wanted to play, but it’s like, she’s tight having a tough time moving.”

“We tried all day to get Esmery ready. And then not having her and knowing that when we were at Washington State, they killed us rebounding and our best rebounder was out. So, I was a little bit worried.”

Even though Martinez didn’t play, she still played a big part against Washington State (15-11, 4-9).

“She was great on the bench.” said Barnes.

“I thought she did a really good job, her maturity, of leading our bench. A very, very important role today in this win.”

With Martinez out, Isis Beh got the start for Arizona.

Beh took advantage of the situation, getting a career-high 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting and hit a 3-pointer. She also contributed with four rebounds, two assists and a steal.

Skylar Jones had a team-high eight rebounds, scored 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the floor. She made both of her free-throw attempts and had two assists and a blocked shot.

“I think it’s just my confidence. Practices have been going really well for me,” Jones said of her improved play. “Really using practice like it’s a game.”

With the game Jones had, you wouldn’t have known she was playing with a bad cold.

“Sky is very sick right now with a bad cold,” Barnes said. “She’s like dying. She’s got antibiotics. She’s super congested, but in the game, she’s just playing hard.”

Helena Pueyo had a team high 18-points and was named “Bang the Drum” player of the game.

Pueyo, who is always a force on defense, showed what she can do on offense going 8 of 10 from the floor and 2 of 3 from 3-point range. She had five of the team’s nine steals.

“I think we worked a lot this week on the rotation because they are a really good offensive team.” Pueyo said. “I think for me, I think I was just like seeing it.”

Arizona created 17 turnovers resulting in 18 points.

The Wildcats scored 40 points in the paint and 10 fast-break points.

Arizona held the Cougars to a season low 45 points.

Arizona next plays Washington in McKale Sunday at noon.

Game Extras:

*A very poignant moment in the second quarter. Arizona showed an “I Stand For” segment on their scoreboard. Wildcats players were shown saying who they stand for in the fight against cancer. Then, the crowd stood up with “I Stand For” signs that had who they stand for written on the signs.

“I Stand For” signs from the McKale crowd (Lori Burkhart photo/

*In the fourth quarter, WSU morphed into Stanford as the scoreboard showed the Cardinal instead of WSU as Arizona’s opponent. The scoreboard crew eventually fixed the issue.

Scoreboard showed Arizona beating Stanford in OT (Lori Burkhart photo/
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