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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Wildcats bounce back from three-game losing streak, beat USC

Forward+Sam+Thomas+%2814%29+shoots+the+ball+during+the+game+against+USC+on+Friday%2C+Jan.+25+at+McKale+Center.+Arizona+beat+USC+71-68.+
Madeleine Viceconte
Forward Sam Thomas (14) shoots the ball during the game against USC on Friday, Jan. 25 at McKale Center. Arizona beat USC 71-68.

In a game that went down to the wire, Arizona women’s basketball ended its three-game skid, beating USC 71-68. 

The game was a complete 40-minute effort from the Wildcats, who watched a 13-point fourth-quarter lead diminish to three, before ultimately getting the defensive stop they needed with just seconds left on the clock.

“We didn’t get rattled,” head coach Adia Barnes said. “At times I was telling us to calm down because we were rushing, but then they did. They want to win, they expect to win.”

The team watches on the sidelines as their teammate Tee Tee Starks shoots free throws in the final moments of the game against USC on Friday, Jan. 25 at McKale Center. 
The team watches on the sidelines as their teammate Tee Tee Starks shoots free throws in the final moments of the game against USC on Friday, Jan. 25 at McKale Center. 

The Wildcats started the game off well, jumping out to a 13-9 lead, before USC tied the score up as the first quarter ended. In the last 1:40 of the first quarter, the ‘Cats had four turnovers.

In the second quarter, things opened up. The Trojans went on an 8-0 run, putting them up 26-18, and they extended their lead to as much as 10. The ‘Cats were able to close the gap but still went into the half down five, 33-28.

The third quarter was all in Arizona’s favor, as UA jumped out to an eight-point lead, 53-45, heading into the fourth quarter. A 16-4 run helped put the ‘Cats out front, while overall they outscored the Trojans 25-12 in the third quarter.

The ‘Cats started out the fourth quarter by hitting their first four field goal attempts, putting them up 62-49. Freshman Bryce Nixon came in and seemed to be a spark plug for Arizona, hitting a 3 before assisting fellow freshman Cate Reese with a nice dish under the basket. Out of a Trojan timeout, USC went on a 8-0 run, bringing the score to 62-57. 

“We had to guard the ball a little better, and we had to plug higher,” Barnes said. “Just … more discipline in guarding and dominating the ball.”

In the end, although they didn’t have a field goal in the last four and a half minutes of play, the Wildcats were able to close it out and win.

Forward Dominique McBryde (20) shoots a basket during the game against USC on Friday, Jan. 25 at McKale Center. Arizona defeated USC 71-68. 
Forward Dominique McBryde (20) shoots a basket during the game against USC on Friday, Jan. 25 at McKale Center. Arizona defeated USC 71-68. 

“When we were trading baskets back and forth with them, I think that just the whole mentality was ‘we’re not gonna give up, we’re not gonna let them just roll over us’,” redshirt junior Dominique McBryde said. “Everyone hitting big shots, especially Tee Tee [Starks], it was just really fun to enjoy and watch and play.”

McBryde finished with a double-double, 12 points and 10 rebounds. Starks was red-hot from beyond the arc, drilling all four of her three-point attempts, finishing with 13 points. Redshirt sophomore Aari McDonald finished with 20 points, adding eight assists and three rebounds. 

The Wildcats wrap up their weekend of play on Sunday, Jan. 27, at 2 p.m., as they play host to UCLA.


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