Reese, McDonald lead Arizona women's basketball to first win
The 2018-2019 Arizona women’s basketball season officially opened Friday against Idaho State. The Wildcats found themselves on top with a final score of 71-46 in the first-ever matchup between the two teams.
Arizona started the game off struggling defensively, falling behind Idaho State 5-3 by the first media timeout. However, the Wildcats seemed to fall into shape ending the quarter ahead with a score of 20-9. True freshman Cate Reese, who made her first career start, led the first quarter in points with a total of 10, with the last one being a buzzer-beater leading the Wildcats into the second.
By the second quarter, the Wildcats held the Bengals to 32 percent shooting. Aari McDonald put seven points up on the scoreboard, giving her a total of nine points and five assists at the half. Arizona ended the first half up 36-20.
The Wildcats started the second half off by playing with some red-hot offense. Reese reached 13 points and seven rebounds, while McDonald trailed closely behind with 11 points, six rebounds and five assists to end the third quarter. Sam Thomas also entered double-digit territory with 12 points at the beginning of the fourth.
The 'Cats committed nine turnovers in the third quarter.
“We weren’t poised at all,” head coach Adia Barnes said. “That’s something we have to fix.”
The Cats showed better defense in the fourth quarter, holding Idaho State at 29 percent shooting. To end the game, Arizona came out on top 71-46.
Barnes said she was pleased that her team was able to win the first game of the year.
“This was a key game for us. Winning the first game is big. We’re playing a very good team on Tuesday, and it’s very tough. They beat us last year and just beat UCLA a few days ago, so I knew that that was going to be a tough game and that this was a big confidence game,” Barnes said.
Reese and McDonald both hit their first double-doubles of not only the season but of their Wildcat careers. McDonald put up a total of 22 points, and 10 rebounds and this time Reese followed behind with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
“I think [tonight] woke us up,” Reese said. “The season is here and we have to prove a point to the other teams out there. We’re not the same team we were last year. We may be underdogs, but we’re going to fight for every point, every win, everything.”
Arizona’s next game will be Tuesday, Nov. 13 against Loyola Marymount in McKale Center. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m.
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