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The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona WBB upsets No.15 Utah in an exciting overtime matchup

First AP Top-25 win of the season
Kailyn+Gilbert%2C+a+guard+on+the+Arizona+womens+basketball+team%2C+dribbles+down+the+court+on+Jan.+29+in+McKale+Center.+The+Wildcats+would+lose+the+divisional+game+against+Washington+State+University+59-70.
Nathanial Stenchever

Kailyn Gilbert, a guard on the Arizona women’s basketball team, dribbles down the court on Jan. 29 in McKale Center. The Wildcats would lose the divisional game against Washington State University 59-70.

The Arizona women’s basketball team faced the No. 15 University of Utah in McKale Center on Sunday, Jan. 5 at noon. The Wildcats bounced back from their recent loss against Boulder, securing their first win against a top-25 team this season. Arizona won this game 71-70, bringing them to (10-5) on the season.

First Half

The starting lineup consisted of Jada Williams, Helena Pueyo, Kailyn Gilbert, Esmery Martinez and Breya Cunningham. Arizona won the jump ball, but possession was shortly stolen by Utah. Cunningham faced early foul trouble in this period. Despite Arizona’s strong defense causing early turnovers, Utah ended this quarter 21-19.

The second quarter began with Salimatou Kourouma tying up the score with an easy jump shot. Arizona maintained the same high intensity from its previous matchup against the No. 5 University of Colorado, with Courtney Blakley and Gilbert contributing to the close score. The crowd showed up again for this game, rattling Utah, but the Utes held their lead into halftime at 37-36.

Second Half

The Wildcats started off slowly as the Utes amped up, making three consecutive three-pointers. Multiple fouls were drawn on the Wildcats, giving Utah easy points. Arizona applied great zone pressure, forcing the Utes to shoot. Utah outrebounded and outscored Arizona in this period, maintaining its lead.

Pueyo started the last period with a pull-up jumper. Foul trouble continued with Martinez fouling out. The Wildcats fought back with multiple steals. Pueyo banked a three-pointer, shifting the lead. With a tied score at 20 seconds left in the game, Gilbert missed her shot, putting the game in overtime for the first time this season.

This overtime had everyone on their toes. Gilbert had the first points in the added time. Great blocks made by Cunningham helped Arizona. Utah regained the lead, but shortly after, a foul was called, putting Gilbert at the free-throw line. Gilbert made both of her free throws, securing Arizona the win.

Postgame and Looking ahead

The Wildcats dominated in this game, showcasing their ability to win against ranked teams. Arizona’s relentless defense was essential in keeping Utah’s offense in check, while their smart offensive execution and effortless ball movement resulted in crucial points. Right up until the last whistle, the fight was intensely fought.

Arizona’s next game will be against Oregon State University in Gill Coliseum, Corvallis, Oregon, on Friday, Jan. 12, at 8 p.m.


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