Arizona Women's Basketball

Arizona stuns No. 3 Stanford with victory behind Jada Williams’ fourth-quarter performance

Arizona freshman Jada Williams scored 19 of her 23 points in the second half, including a go-ahead 3-pointer with 31 seconds remaining in a historical upset 68-61 win Friday night over No. 3 Stanford at Maples Pavilion at Palo Alto, Calif.

Williams scored 14 of Arizona’s 17 points in the last 3:18 of the game in front of the stunned 4,423 fans at Maples Pavilion, many of whom were Arizona fans chanting “U of A, U of A” toward the end of the game.

It is the Wildcats’ first win over Stanford and legendary coach Tara VanDerveer at Maples Pavilion since the 2000-01 season. Stanford’s 20-game winning streak over Arizona there is over.

“I’m telling you, Tara is a phenomenal coach, phenomenal legacy here and she’s a pioneer in women’s basketball,” Arizona coach Adia Barnes said during the postgame show on 1290-AM. “Literally as a player (at Arizona from 1994-98) I never won here. We won one time at Arizona.

“As a coach, I’ve only beaten her at Arizona. They’re just so good and so deep and she’s a legendary coach. As the Pac-12 dissolves, I’ll still keep on keeping the home-and-home with Stanford.”

Stanford (23-4 overall, 12-3 Pac-12) did not have All-American center Cameron Brink, who did not attend the game because of a non-COVID illness.

Arizona (15-12, 7-8) played with only seven players with regular starting point guard Kailyn Gilbert not on the trip because of concussion protocol, according to Barnes.

Williams’ performance included shooting 8 of 17 from the field, 3 of 6 from 3-point range, with four rebounds, two assists and two steals.

She nearly outscored Stanford by herself with 14 points in the fourth quarter. The Wildcats overwhelmed Stanford 31-16 in the fourth quarter despite the fact they had only six available players after Breya Cunningham fouled out with 2:58 left.

Arizona outscored Stanford 14-2 to close the game and Williams had 11 of those points.

“Honestly, my team teammates believed in me (and) we believed we could walk in here and win,” Williams told the Pac-12 Networks after the victory. “We have seven players. We’re playing together. We’re playing as sisters and I couldn’t ask for anything more.

“Our coaches are on board. This wasn’t about me tonight. This was about winning for my team with all the adversity we’ve been through this season.”

Williams played 37 minutes while Helena Pueyo was at 39 and Esmery Martinez 35. All seven players played at least 21 minutes.

“Helena played almost 39 minutes; that means they’re gassed,” Barnes said. “Jada played 37 … it’s just hard with a short bench, but I thought they rallied. Then they hit some shots within that 3-minute mark (at the end).

“Jada hit some big shots and really helped us get that lead.”

Stanford led 45-37 entering the fourth quarter after going on a 10-0 run late in the third quarter.

A 3-pointer by Brook Demetre gave Stanford a 58-49 lead with 3:58 remaining.

Arizona outscored Stanford 19-3 the rest of the game.

The Cardinal’s only field goal in that span was a Kiki Iriafen layup with 59 seconds left that tied the game at 61.

Williams answered with a bank-shot 3-pointer with 31 seconds left to put Arizona ahead for good at 64-61.

Ifiafen missed a jumper and Williams corraled the rebound. She made two free throws after getting fouled with 16 seconds remaining.

Stanford’s last field-goal attempt of the game with 14 seconds left, a 3-pointer by Demetre, was off the mark.

Iriafen finished with 21 points and 15 rebounds to lead Stanford.

Hannah Jump had 11 points in the first half for Stanford but only two in the second half.

“Helena did a really good job of guarding her,” Barnes said. “That’s why we needed Helena in the game so she can guard Hannah Jump.”

Arizona completes the Bay area trip with a game at California at 1 p.m. (Tucson time) on Sunday.

“It would be really big if we can come here and get a sweep; it would be huge for us,” Barnes said. “We know Cal is really good. They play really well at home. But we’re planning not to lose. We have a lot of confidence.

“It’s a matter of peaking at the right time and I think we knew Stanford was down a player, and we’re down some players, but we rallied and found a way to do it. So I’m feeling good. We’ll take our chances.”

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 in 2016 and is presently a special education teacher at Sunnyside High School in the Sunnyside Unified School District.

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