Arizona women's basketball falls short at home against LMU
Arizona women’s basketball head coach Adia Barnes said before Tuesday night’s game that Loyola Marymount would be a good test for her team in their second game of non-conference play.
She wasn’t wrong.
In a game that went down to the last seconds, the Lions came into McKale Center and survived a late fourth-quarter rally from the Wildcats, beating Arizona 66-64.
The Wildcats struggled to hit their stride offensively early, finding themselves down 20-9 at the end of the first quarter. The ‘Cats hit only one shot from the field out of 12 attempts, a 3 from freshman Bryce Nixon, and only generated their points at the free throw line, where they were 6-8.
By halftime, Arizona had improved its shooting, but only slightly, to 7-25. The deficit they faced only increased, with a halftime score of 36-24 in favor of Loyola Marymount.
The Wildcats came out firing to open the second half, starting the third quarter out with a 5-0 run, but Loyola Marymount had an answer just about every step of the way, and the ‘Cats were only able to narrow their deficit by one point, with the score at the end of the third at 53-42.
In the fourth quarter, Arizona never stopped competing, and the Wildcats that fans were expecting to see this season came out to play, outscoring LMU 20-10. The Wildcats cut the lead down to as little as one point, but it was too little, too late, as Loyola Marymount was able to hold on for the victory.
Redshirt sophomore Aari McDonald had a career-high 39 points, the only Wildcat to hit double digit points on the night. McDonald said she decided to take the game over in the second quarter.
“I saw that we were low in energy, and I took it upon myself to get my teammates together and just try and be a leader out there,” she said.
“We’re not going to win games if Aari has over half of our points,” Barnes said postgame. “I thought they [LMU] were very physical on purpose with us.”
The ‘Cats will look to bounce back as they head to Hawaii over the weekend to take part in the Bank of Hawaii Classic.
Their first game will be Friday, Nov. 16 at 3 p.m. against Seattle University.
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