Arizona women's basketball takes down Washington
University of Arizona Women’s basketball guard Amari Carter during the exhibition match against Eastern New Mexico on October 27. Carter is a senior at the University of Arizona.
No. 12 Arizona women’s basketball was able to get win number 11 in McKale Center this season. The Wildcats were able to shake off a slow start to beat the Washington Huskies 64-53.
The ‘Cats were trailing following the first quarter but found life in the second due to the spark that Helena Pueyo provided them off the bench. Pueyo was able to space the floor in the first half as she drilled four triples, leading both squads in scoring heading into the half.
“I felt good tonight, I don't know maybe it was for my birthday,” Pueyo joked, just celebrating her birthday Thursday.
Pueyo’s shooting was contagious, as Arizona was able to connect on 50% of their 3-point shot attempts in the contest.
Head coach Adia Barnes had nothing but high praise for Pueyo’s shooting performance.
“[Pueyo] is back, she was on vacation,” Barnes joked. “She’s a phenomenal shooter.”
Aari McDonald also had praise for Pueyo's shooting abilities.
"She spreads the floor for us. She’s a 40 plus percent free-throw shooter," McDonald said. "So when I drive, everyone is collapsing. With her ability to shoot, she definitely spreads the floor for us. We are very dangerous if everyone is hitting. It’s like, ‘Who do you guard?’”
Though Arizona was able to pull off a double-digit win, it still felt like the team did not play a complete game.
“The first half, mostly the first quarter, Washington was shooting probably like 48%; we really don’t like when our opponents are shooting that percentage,” McDonald said.
The defense was able to lock in during the second half, as they held Washington to just 33% from the field.
McDonald led the way for the 'Cats in the second half as she finished with a team-high 19 points. Cate Reese added 13 of her own with a game-high 7 boards.
Just five games remain in the season and Arizona is closing in on its first NCAA Tourney bid in almost 15 years. But Barnes isn’t looking too far ahead since she knows there is still some work left to be done.
“I don’t talk about that to the team, but as a staff, we talk about it and I just don’t want to think too hard about it because I know we need to get wins,” Barnes said. “We have five games to go, but there is a really good chance we take care of business. I just try to narrow our focus to one game at a time.”
They will look to completely sweep on the Washington schools for this season, as they are set to host the Washington State Cougars on Sunday at noon.
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