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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


The Daily Wildcat’s team and player of the week: Feb. 18

Nathanial Stenchever
Arizona softballs Aissa Silva pitches in the final game of the Bear Down Fiesta tournament on Friday Feb. 18 in Rita Hillenbrand Stadium. Arizona went 5-1 in the tournament and Silva helped the team by pitching in four of the six games.

After a week full of exciting matchups, the No. 5 Arizona men’s basketball team extended its winning streak after achieving six consecutive wins, with outstanding performances from all around the floor, and multiple players displaying their talents. This occurred while Aissa Silva helped cap off a dominating victory to a week full of matchups for the softball team that have improved to 10-1 after going 5-1 in the Bear Down Fiesta Tournament.

Player of the Week

Aissa Silva – Pitcher, softball

The Arizona softball team began its season with an exceptional performance in the Candrea Classic as the Wildcats swept the tournament and have extended their victories into this week. Arizona completed the four-day Bear Down Fiesta Tournament going 5-1, which took place at Mike Candrea Field at Rita Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium between Feb. 15-18. The tournament finished with an 8-0 win over the University of Nebraska, Omaha, on Feb. 18, allowing Arizona to improve to 10-1 to start the season. Sophomore pitcher Silva had a dominating performance while achieving her fifth consecutive win of the season.

While Silva did give up 3 runs in a win against Long Beach State University earlier in the week, the left-handed pitcher found her way to deliver controlled performances throughout the rest of the tournament. Starting in the first meeting against the No. 15 University of Arkansas (3-2), Silva pitched for 5.1 innings, tallying only 2 runs while facing nine players on the opposing team. Arizona ultimately upset Arkansas, while Silva claimed her fourth win of the season.

On the last day of the tournament facing Omaha, Silva was the starting pitcher, finishing her performance with four strikeouts in only 3.0 innings. The sophomore also notably achieved a 0.60 ERA. Arizona ultimately shutout Omaha, continuing to improve its young core of players. As the Wildcats move deeper into the season, they will continue to have to find ways to tap into offense with players like Silva, showcasing their talents that continue to improve the team.

Team of the Week

Men’s basketball

The No. 5 Arizona men’s basketball team (20-5, 11-3 in Pac-12) rose to the fifth ranking in the Pac-12 standings this week as the Wildcats extended their winning streak to six consecutive wins. This victory was obtained when Arizona went against in-state rival school ASU on Saturday, Feb. 17, in McKale Center. Arizona’s offense took over any chance the Sun Devils had coming back as six of their players scored in double digits.

Jaden Bradley led the team scoring a career-high 21 points, while Paulius Murauskas achieved a season-high 12 points. Arizona has been dominating its matchups as its defense has continued to improve against the Wildcats’ opponents. Four of their last six wins have been obtained while leading with a margin of 10 or more points. Oumar Ballo also collected his fifth straight double-double, scoring 15 points and 11 rebounds in the victory over ASU. Along with the on-court success, Caleb Love was named to the Naismith Player of the Year Midseason Team while Pelle Larsson was named the Pac-12 Conference men’s basketball Player of the Week on Feb. 12.

The Wildcats were able to beat the Sun Devils to mark another rivalry win in the books, only this time it would be a 45-point win, the largest deficit over ASU in program history. Arizona continues to lead in the all-time series record against ASU 158-87. Additionally, this win gave Arizona head coach Tommy Lloyd his 81st win at Arizona as the Wildcats look to continue adding to their winning streak. Arizona will remain in McKale this week to take on Washington State University on Thursday, Feb. 22, at 9 p.m.

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