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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


WBB Pac-12 tournament quarterfinals preview: No.14 Arizona vs. Colorado

Nathanial Stenchever

Taylor Chavez, a guard on the Arizona women’s basketball team, takes a 3-point shot on Saturday, Feb. 26, in McKale Center. The Wildcats would go on to win the game 68-59.

On Thursday, March 3, the Arizona women’s basketball team will matchup against the University of Colorado Boulder in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 tournament at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas at 1 p.m. MST. 

Arizona is the No. 4 seed in the tournament which earned them a bye for the first round. Colorado played the University of Washington to open the tournament and won 64-52. 

Mya Hollingshed helped lead Colorado to the victory with 15 points and 12 rebounds double-double. Peanut Tuitele was the team’s leading scorer with 16 points. 

“The good thing is that we’ve played both of the teams so you just kind of, you know them, the coaches that have the scouts, they’re preparing them, they’re looking at their latest stuff to see if anything’s changed … I think that whoever kind of wants it more that given day, just like we talked about us, UCLA and USC, whoever shows up in the Pac-12 tournament will win so we don’t know. I think we’re prepared to play either,” head coach Adia Barnes said on how she has been preparing for Thursday’s game.   

Arizona will still be without Cate Reese, who is recovering from a dislocated shoulder. Reese is an integral part of the offense, averaging 14.2 points and 6.2 rebounds per game this season. Last Thursday against UCLA, the team struggled mightily without Reese, scoring only 46 points and their second straight loss. 

On senior night, the team bounced back with a 68-59 win over USC but will need continued good play from their bench to help them on offense against Colorado. Taylor Chavez came alive in that game, scoring 18 points and hitting five 3-pointers. If Chavez keeps up this level of play, she could be the boost on offense that the Wildcats need to go deep in the tournament 

RELATED: No. 12 Arizona WBB defeats USC in the last game of the regular season 68-59

The last time Arizona played Colorado they won 75-56 with Shaina Pellington scoring 28 points and Reese scoring 23. This time around, the game could shape up to be a defensive battle with Colorado’s aggressive defense, something Barnes noted in her press conference when asked about who will be in the starting lineup.

“The factor will be who we play and how our match ups are because [with] Colorado, we’re gonna match up differently so then we could go a little bigger,” Barnes said. 

Senior forward Sam Thomas has continued to be a leader for the team, trying to help the new players who have not been in the Pac-12 tournament before settle into the right mindset. 

“I think there’s a lot of pressures and excitements and mixes of emotions going into a week like this and especially a month like this. So just taking it one game at a time and just sticking to what we do, doing the basic things that we’ve been working on practice all year, because this is what it’s really going to show, and it’s going to come down to the moment of what we do in practice and how it translates on the court,” Thomas said. 

If Arizona wins they will have made the semifinals three years in a row, something the team has never done, and will have won a game in the tournament for the fourth straight year which has not happened in a decade. 

If the Wildcats win, they will play the winner of the Stanford and Oregon State game, making a rematch of the 2021 National Championship a possibility. 

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