Take a look back at some of the best Arizona games of the year
Arizona player tries to fake past Stanford during the Arizona-Stanford game on Jan. 13, 2019 at McKale Center. The Wildcats lost the game 78- 48.
With the athletics season over, take a look back at some of the most memorable games from the 2019-20 season for Arizona athletics.
Women's basketball versus No. 4 Stanford
After Arizona's somewhat embarrassing loss to Colorado, No. 4 Stanford came to McKale Center for a top-15 matchup. The game was tight throughout, but down the stretch, Arizona was still down. Aari McDonald made a pair of free throws to tie the game with 15 seconds left but Stanford would get the ball with a chance to win. The Cardinal turned the ball over right away, which then gave Arizona with a chance. McDonald, however, missed a jumper with a second left to send the game to overtime. Overtime played out just like regulation. With under 10 seconds left McDonald gave Arizona the lead but Stanford still had the last shot. Kiana Williams missed the shot for Stanford and Arizona pulled off one of their biggest wins in program history.
Women's basketball versus No. 9 OSU
Arizona’s game against Oregon State was another top-15 nail-biter. A month earlier, the Beavers pulled out a controversial last-second win in Tucson that left a bad taste in the mouths of Wildcat fans. Fast-forward to Feb. 9 and the Wildcats and Beavers were in another tight one. Oregon State tied the game with 1:24 left in regulation but neither team would score again and the game went to overtime. Both teams struggled to score in overtime as Arizona’s defense held OSU to only two points. Sam Thomas hit a big three with 1:16 left to put Arizona up by five and they wouldn’t look back, winning the game 65-58.
Softball at No. 8 Alabama
A promising season that was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic still had plenty of memorable games, but maybe none bigger than the two games between Arizona and Alabama at the end of February. The first top-10 matchup was a pitchers duel between Mariah Lopez and Lexi Kilfoyl. Both teams scratched across a run in the first inning but that’s how it would stay until the seventh. In the top of the seventh Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza singled to bring home Jenna Kean, which proved to be the winning run.
The next day the two teams met again with another exciting ending in store. They went back and forth until the bottom of the sixth when Alabama took a commanding 5-3 lead with only an inning left. After Reyna Carranco and Jessie Harper both got out, Arizona was down to their final out. Singles from both Sharlize Palacios and Marissa Schuld brought the leading run to the plate in Malia Martinez. Martinez crushed a home run to centerfield to give the Wildcats a 6-5 lead. Alabama got the tying run to second on a double in the bottom half of the seventh but couldn’t bring her home as Arizona swept Alabama.
Men's basketball versus Washington
A season full of high expectations that was cut short saw Arizona only win one game against a top-25 team. But that game doesn’t make the list because of how dominant Arizona was throughout. Instead, Arizona's first win on the road was the highlight of the men's basketball season.
Arizona was just coming off a brutal loss to ASU when they had to then travel up to Seattle, which is never an easy place to play. Washington was under-performing and was the last place team in the conference, but they were still a really good team with Isiah Stewart and Jaden McDaniels. After a tight first half, the Huskies jumped out to a nine-point lead in the second half, and it looked like Arizona would lose another road game. But the Wildcats kept battling back and eventually got a lead with just over four minutes left. Both teams would go back and forth the final couple minutes, but Arizona was down one with under a minute to go. Jemarl Baker Jr. had played his best game of the year so far for Arizona and had made three 3-pointers at that point. With 44 seconds left, he made his fourth and put Arizona up by two, a lead they wouldn’t surrender the rest of the game.
Football vs UCLA
Another disappointing year for Arizona football still had a couple great games that Wildcat fans can look back on. Arizona started the year 2-1 as they hosted UCLA for some "Pac-12 after dark" action. Khalil Tate was out for the game, which meant true freshman Grant Gunnell would make his first career start. Gunnell played well, going 29-of-44 for 352 yards with a touchdown pass to Darrius Smith. The first half of the game was slow, however, and Arizona was down 7-6 at halftime. The two teams went back and forth in the second half, and in the fourth quarter Arizona was able to get a 20-17 lead with still plenty of time remaining. After a couple of punts, UCLA got the ball into Arizona territory with under a minute remaining. The defense was able to get a stop for Arizona which set up a 39-yard field goal attempt with 40 seconds remaining. Head coach Kevin Sumlin iced UCLA’s kicker, who ended up making the kick just before the snap. The second attempt, however, missed wide right and Arizona won their conference opener and gave them momentum heading into the rest of the season.
Football versus Colorado
The game against Colorado ended up being the lone game against a Division I school where Arizona scored more than 30 points and still won. Khalil Tate was back after missing the week before and Arizona was sure to win their fourth game in a row. We knew the altitude would be no problem for Tate since just two years prior he had his best game in an Arizona uniform at Colorado. This game wouldn’t be too different except for the fact he got it done with his arm instead of his legs. Tate finished 31-41 for 404 yards and three passing touchdowns. The game was back and forth from the beginning. Until the last two minutes of the second quarter, the score was only 7-6 with Arizona leading. In the last two minutes however, the teams combined for 21 points and it could’ve been 28 if Jamarye Joiner didn’t step out of bounds on the last kickoff with three seconds left. However, the score was 20-14 Colorado up at the half. Both teams traded scores throughout the second half but it was the Arizona defense holding Colorado to a field goal with 11:29 left in the game that ultimately won the game. Arizona scored three touchdowns in the half while holding Colorado to two touchdowns and that one field goal. Arizona was able to force a turnover on downs, which ended up sealing the game for them, 35-30.
Soccer versus No. 10 UCLA
Leading up to this game, Arizona was 1-23-1 all-time against UCLA. The Wildcats had not won a game against the Bruins since 2004, so history was certainly not on their side. It would have been considered a success if Arizona walked away from this game with a draw but the Wildcats were striving for something bigger that night. Propelled by a strong defense and a string of amazing goals, the Arizona Wildcats shocked the conference and stunned UCLA 3-0. Arizona played their best defensive game of the season, limiting UCLA to just 11 total shots while freshman goalkeeper Hope Hisey recorded her first conference shutout of her career. But all of that was overshadowed by Brooke Wilson's rocket of a goal from way beyond the box in the 68th minute that was later featured on SportsCenter's Top 10 plays.
“That was the best goal ever, I don’t think I‘ve ever been so excited in my life,” Wilson said after the game.
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