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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona WBB completes road sweep, defeating No. 3 Stanford and Cal

Caroline Bailey
Guard Jada Williams pushes through Cal’s defense on Jan. 28 in McKale Center. Arizona women’s basketball lost to Stanford 96-64.

The Arizona women’s basketball team faced No. 3 Stanford University on Friday, Feb. 23, at 8 p.m. in Maples Pavilion and the University of California, Berkeley, on Sunday, Feb. 25, at 1 p.m. in Haas Pavilion. Arizona had already faced these two teams earlier this season. In the earlier matchup, the Wildcats lost to Stanford 96-64, but were able to defeat Cal 66-55. 

However, this time around Arizona defeated Stanford (68-61) and Cal (87-68). With these wins, the Wildcats (16-12, 8-8 in Pac-12) return home winners of four straight.

Game 1: Arizona vs. No. 3 Stanford – Friday, Feb. 23

The starting lineup for this game consisted of Jada Williams, Skylar Jones, Helena Pueyo, Esmery Martinez and Breya Cunningham. The Wildcats had a slight advantage in this game as forward Cameron Brink was out. Brink scored 25 points against Arizona last time they met. Arizona had first possession but Stanford forced a shot clock violation turnover. Stanford had the first points on the board made by Brooke Demetre on a driving lay-up. Despite Stanford dominating early on its home court, however Arizona displayed great defense.

The Wildcats managed to force six turnovers going into halftime. Arizona continued to hang on as they were only down five  heading into the third quarter. The Wildcats maintained relentless ball pressure, making it tough for Stanford to put up points. Cunningham received her fifth foul in the last two minutes of the game, sending her to the bench. While Williams lit up the court with 23 points to secure Arizona’s 68-61 victory.

Since 2001, the Wildcats have not won at Stanford. Prior to the game, Arizona had only won once in the league when traveling, and its last victory away from home came on Dec. 17 against ASU in the Pac-12 opening.

Game 2: Arizona vs. Cal – Sunday, Feb. 25

This was the 76th meeting between the programs, and after the Wildcats defeated Cal the all-time series is now 38–38.

The Wildcats played this game with the same lineup from their game against Stanford. Coming off an impressive victory, Arizona started this game off strong. The score was tight throughout the first quarter until the Wildcats took complete control of Cal. The Golden Bears put the first points on the board. Arizona brought its fierce defense once again, forcing 22 turnovers. Courtney Blakely scored two baskets to spark the Wildcats’ 11-2 run that started the second quarter. After that, it was all Arizona. In the second quarter, the Wildcats scored 32 points, their highest-scoring quarter of the year.

Martinez’s layup put an end to the Golden Bears’ 6-point spree that began the second half. For the rest of the quarter, the teams exchanged baskets, but the Wildcats led by 22 points entering the fourth. The Wildcats won this game 87-68.They outscored Cal 41–22 in the paint and 31–10 in points off turnovers. The Wildcats field goal percentage was 56.3%, their third-best single-game percentage of the year. Brooklyn Rhodes, a recent recruit, played in the game as well.

For the third time in the last two games, five Wildcats scored in double figures. Martinez had the most points (20), followed by Williams (18), Jones (12), Isis Beh (11) and Pueyo (10).

Looking ahead:

The Wildcats will be returning home to face No. 7 USC and No. 12 UCLA on Thursday, Feb. 29, at 6 p.m. and Saturday, March 2, at 6 p.m. in McKale Center.

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