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Arizona women's basketball picks up big win over No. 10 Oregon

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Arizona point guard Aari McDonald drives to the basket and evades an Oregon defender on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. The Wildcats went on to to win the game 57-41. (Courtesy of Mike Christy/Arizona Athletics)

The Arizona Wildcats got back in the win column against the Oregon Ducks with a 57-41 win on Thursday, Jan. 14. This was Arizona’s first win against Oregon since 2015. It was also the first nationally televised game on ESPN for the Wildcats. 

The Wildcats were led by Aari McDonald with 16 points on 6-14 shooting and 2-6 from the three but it wasn't just her that helped propel the Wildcats to the win. Trinity Baptiste scored 14 points and shot 4-13 from the field and 2-4 from the three.

"It's a statement win," senior Sam Thomas said. 

Defense

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The Wildcats brought the pressure to the Ducks early forcing 13 turnovers in the first half. They continued that intense defense forcing 23 turnovers in the game. Aari McDonald and Sam Thomas racked up four steals each, while Helena Pueyo also added in three steals. 

“I knew we controlled the game overall because we had them flustered and I have never seen Oregon players flustered like that.” McDonald said.

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Sam Thomas 

Thomas brought intensity on both ends of the floor as she scored 10 points on 2-3 shooting and had 6 rebounds and 4 steals. Her hustle impacted the game and really brought energy to Arizona.

“She is one of the most underrated defensive players and she is a really good offensive player,” head coach Barnes said about Sam Thomas. 

Offensive Struggles 

Both teams struggled from the floor tonight. Oregon shot the ball 33% from the field and Arizona shot the ball 35%. From the three, both teams were not any better as Oregon shot the ball 27% and Arizona shot the ball 31%. 

“Our defense really bothered them and forced them into that… I think our pressure got to them. I think it got them onto their heels a little bit but then it gave us more confidence.” head coach Barnes said. 

Coming off of the big win, Arizona will host Oregon State on Sunday, Jan. 17 in the McKale Center at 2 p.m. MST.


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