The Arizona women’s basketball team defeated No. 2 seed Texas A&M 74-59 on Saturday, March 27. This win has pushed the team into the program’s first ever trip to the Elite Eight. Here are five key stats that stood out in the Wildcats Sweet Sixteen victory over the Aggies.
Aari McDonald season-high points 31 points:
It was the McDonald show Saturday night at the Alamodome in San Antonio, as the senior guard poured in a season-high 31 points. She was on fire from the start, scoring eight points in the first quarter and 11 points in the second quarter to lead all scorers with 19 points at halftime before dropping another nine points in the third quarter. It was one of those games where she seemed to be able to get any shot she wanted.
McDonald career-high six three-point shots made:
Eighteen of McDonald’s season-high 31 points came from deep as she hit a career-high six three-point shots. They all came in the second and third quarter as she hit three of them in each quarter. McDonald even hit one that bounced on the rim multiple times, showcasing her true shooters touch.
Team season-high 13 three-point shots made:
McDonald was the leader in Saturday’s win, but it was a real team effort out on the court as the Wildcats hit a season-high 13 shots from deep. This included three shots made from deep by Sam Thomas and two of them made by Cate Reese. On the other side, the Arizona defense limited Texas A&M to just two three-point shots on eight attempts, resulting in the Wildcats outscoring the Aggies by 33 points from that range.
19 turnovers forced:
The Wildcats stifling defense was in full effect Saturday, forcing 19 Texas A&M turnovers including 13 steals. Thomas led the way forcing five steals, while McDonald, Bendu Yeaney and Helena Pueyo all chipped in two steals apiece. The Aggies had no answer for the Wildcats full court pressure.
Eight team turnovers:
On the offensive side of the ball, Arizona recorded just eight turnovers themselves. The Aggies forced 18 turnovers on Troy in round one and 24 turnovers on Iowa State last round. They were not able to force the same number of turnovers on Arizona, which was a huge part of why the Wildcats were able to dominate this game.
Arizona will now get ready to face No. 4 Indiana for a trip to the Final Four. The Hoosiers knocked off No. 1 seed North Carolina State on Saturday. This game will take place on Monday, March 29. The time of the game is still to be determined.
Follow Ari Koslow on Twitter