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The Daily Wildcat

 

No. 11 Arizona WBB takes down No. 11 Auburn in the First Four round of the NCAA Tournament

Jada+Williams+puts+the+ball+into+play+during+the+game+against+the+Sun+Devils+in+the+McKale+Center+on+Feb.+4.+Williams+scored+4+points+and+2+assists.
Jay Corella
Jada Williams puts the ball into play during the game against the Sun Devils in the McKale Center on Feb. 4. Williams scored 4 points and 2 assists.

The No. 11 seed Arizona women’s basketball team defeated the No. 11 seed Auburn University 69-59 in the First Four matchup in the NCAA Tournament in Harry A. Gampel Pavilion located in Storrs, Connecticut on Thursday, March 21 at 4 p.m

The last meeting between Arizona and Auburn took place on December 19, 2000, as a neutral site game in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Tigers defeated the Wildcats 69-66. This 2024 matchup was a highly anticipated game, as the Wildcats were eager to make their mark on the tournament. 

First Half

Having only eight players available, Arizona had no room for complacency; every player had to bring their A-game and put in maximum effort to move on to the next round. The Wildcats started off hot, with the first possession and the first points on the board. Skylar Jones and Esmery Martinez had early steals for Arizona, showing dominance in this matchup. Turnovers were an issue for both teams in this first half.

Isis Beh and Breya Cunningham received their third fouls late in the second quarter. Auburn was playing tough and aggressive, knocking the Wildcats into foul trouble. 

Arizona executed on both sides of the court with high intensity. Full-court pressure was a strategy that the Wildcats used to force turnovers. Going into halftime, Arizona was up 27-19

Second Half

In the second half, it was a fight for possessions. Arizona overcame turnovers by playing its best defense. Playing at a fast pace, the Wildcats also shook up Auburn’s defense. The Tigers played well defensively, but they just couldn’t get their shots to fall. Foul trouble was an issue, as Arizona only had eight players available to play. Auburn started to gain an advantage with these fouls.

Arizona continued to build tension, driving down the lane and laying in its shots. After Cunningham fouled out, Helena Pueyo stepped up at the end of the game. Martinez finished with 14 points after making all five of her shots, while freshman Jones finished with 13 points for Arizona.

Looking ahead:

Arizona’s next game will be against No. 6 seed Syracuse University on Saturday, March 23 at 12:30 p.m. in Harry A. Gampel Pavilion located in Storrs, Connecticut.


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