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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona WBB travels to Vegas to face off against UNLV

Kailyn+Gilbert+of+the+Arizona+womens+basketball+team+celebrates+being+named+MVP+after+an+exhibition+game+win+against+West+Texas+A%26M+University+in+McKale+Center+in+Tucson+on+Wednesday%2C+Oct.+25.+Gilbert+scored+24+points+in+the+game%2C+leading+the+Wildcats+to+a+103-58+victory.%0A
Jay Corella
Kailyn Gilbert of the Arizona women’s basketball team celebrates being named MVP after an exhibition game win against West Texas A&M University in McKale Center in Tucson on Wednesday, Oct. 25. Gilbert scored 24 points in the game, leading the Wildcats to a 103-58 victory.

The Arizona women’s basketball team is gearing up for a formidable matchup against the University of Nevada Las Vegas in the Thomas and Mack Center. The tip-off is set for Saturday, Dec. 2 at 6:00 p.m., and expectations are high as both teams prepare to clash on the court.

History

As the Wildcats enter this matchup, history is on their side with a commendable 6-3 all-time record against UNLV. The past five encounters tell a story of Arizona’s consistent triumphs, culminating in a 72-64 victory in their last meeting during the 2022 season. However, the narrative takes an interesting turn when the Wildcats hit the road, holding a 2-2 record against the Rebels in away games, showcasing the challenges of performing outside the comfort of their home court.

UNLV’s season

UNLV, currently perched at an impressive 7-0 record, commands attention as the team to beat in the Mountain West conference. The Rebels’ dominance on the court has been nothing short of spectacular, with their smallest margin of victory being a 10-point lead against Loyola Marymount University earlier in the season. The Lady Rebels boast a formidable offensive trio, with Desi-Rae Young (16.9 points per game), Alyssa Durazo-Frescas (13.6 ppg) and Kiara Jackson (12.4 ppg) consistently hitting double figures in scoring.

Young, a senior hailing from Las Vegas, has emerged as a standout player. Her impressive 22-point performance against Loyola Marymount showcased her scoring prowess, setting the tone for her team. Young is undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with on the court.

Jackson, the Mountain West Player of the Year for the 2022-23 season, continues to dominate opponents. Jackson’s skills extend beyond scoring, as she leads her team in assists with an average of 5.3 per game. The impending matchup against Arizona poses a significant test for both Young and Jackson, putting the Wildcats’ defense to the ultimate challenge.

Wildcats to Watch 

Turning the focus back to Arizona, fifth-year senior Esmery Martinez has solidified her role as a leader on the court. Recognized with an All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention, Martinez has been a consistent performer, averaging 12 points per game. Impressively, she has already racked up 18 steals this season, showcasing her defensive prowess. If Martinez maintains this level of play, she is on track to surpass her 50 steals from the previous season.

Adding to the excitement is the emergence of 6’4 freshman Breya Cunningham, a rising star for the Wildcats. Averaging 9.5 points per game, Cunningham brings a fresh energy to the team, making her a player to watch as the season unfolds.

Post-Battle 4 Atlantis 

The Wildcats enter this matchup with momentum from the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament, where they secured a third-place finish. Their aggressive playing style in the tournament’s early minutes caught the attention of fans and opponents alike. 

As the clock ticks down to this weekend’s game the anticipation builds for this thrilling contest between Arizona and UNLV. For those unable to attend in person, the game will be broadcast on the Mountain West Network, offering fans the opportunity to witness the action unfold live.


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