Utah snaps Arizona’s 11-game win streak with blowout win
We’ve all heard the saying “all good things must come to an end." For Arizona, their 11-game winning streak, a new school record, came to and at the hands of Utah, with a 64-80 loss.
The streak came to a screeching halt Sunday afternoon in Salt Lake City, as the Wildcats were out of the game before it could really get going, falling behind by 28-15 after the first period.
After a grueling, nail-biting road win over Colorado just a few nights before, the Wildcats looked drained, emotionally and physically.
Utah took full advantage of the Wildcats' tired legs as they ran circles around Adia Barnes’ squad the entire afternoon, but especially during the first half, where the Utes shot a stiffing 73 percent from the field.
Before the visiting Wildcats could get into any kind of rhythm, Utah was already up huge, at points doubling-up Arizona's score. Utah walked into the locker room at halftime leading 51-26.
UA guard Aari McDonald did all she could to get the Wildcats back into the game early, but the Utes keyed on the redshirt sophomore scorer and limited her ability to get in the lane on a consistent basis.
That in turn limited the drive-and-kick opportunities that Arizona has thrived on during their 11-win run.
McDonald finished the game with 34 points on 30 shots, also grabbing 11 rebounds for a double-double. McDonald has now scored at least 32 points in her last two games, further establishing herself as one of the country’s best scorers.
The Wildcats supporting cast on the other hand failed to chip in. McDonald’s All-American Cate Reese was held scoreless on five shots, while junior starter Lucia Alonso also struggled to get anything going on the afternoon, finishing with just three points and three assists.
Arizona redshirt junior Dominique McBryde and sophomore Sam Thomas finished the game with 10 points a piece to round out the starters for the Wildcats.
After a busy couple of weeks that included facing a ranked ASU team, the holiday break, and the first conference road trip of the season, the Wildcats are in great shape as they prepare to take on the rest of a loaded Pac-12.
Even considering the blowout, the Wildcats have put together enough positive momentum to be able to move past Utah and build on the string of strong performances instead of getting hung up on one game.
Arizona is going to have to adjust and recalibrate quickly, as they host No.18 Cal and No. 6 Stanford this upcoming weekend. The weekend tilt could separate Arizona from the top-tier, or place them among the conferences elite.
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