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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona women’s basketball opens 2023 season against New Mexico State

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 will be on the road in its season opener, facing New Mexico State University on Monday, Nov. 6, at 6 p.m. in Las Cruces, New Mexico, in Pan American Center. The Wildcats have played in two exhibition games. The first was against West Texas A&M University, and then the Wildcats faced Point Loma Nazarene University. Both games resulted in an Arizona victory at home in McKale Center.

This will be the Wildcats’ first game of the regular season. The previous six times Arizona has played the Aggies, the Wildcats walked away with the victory.

New Mexico State’s team

New Mexico State has only played in one exhibition game leading up to this game against Arizona, where the Aggies defeated Eastern New Mexico University 77-55 on Sunday, Oct. 29. NMSU’s Molly Kaiser was also one of the All-Conference-USA Preseason Team Selection recipients and will be competing in the nine-team conference for the first time. The Aggies also added Rabun Wright as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. Wright is originally from Jacksonville State but is now working full-time for the Aggies.

Players to watch

Salimatou Kourouma

Kourouma is a redshirt senior from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She had a fantastic performance against Point Loma, where she posted five rebounds, six steals and 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting. She’s played the majority of both games and has already shown she is going to be a force to reckon with for the Arizona offense.

Esmery Martinez

She was selected to be on the Preseason All-Pac-12 Team as well as the Katrina McClain Award Preseason Watch List. She continues to improve her game and has become a leader on the team after opting to return for a fifth season.

Breya Cunningham

A freshman from Chula Vista, California, and one of Arizona’s best additions to this year’s team. Cunningham was highly recognized in high school. She is also linked to one of the best signing classes in the program’s history.

This game should be an interesting matchup. For those unable to watch in person, the game will be live-streamed on ESPN+.

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