The Arizona women’s basketball team defeated Indiana on Monday, March 29, in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament 66-53, advancing to their first Final Four in program history.
The Wildcats were led by their All-American senior guard Aari McDonald, who scored 33 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Trinity Baptiste was the only other player to score in double-digits with 12 points.
“When you know, you know you're feeling it. I wasn’t doing too well in the regular season and conference stuff," McDonald said. "I was taking bad shots, but I’m letting the game come to me and my teammates are putting me into successful positions. The coaches are putting me in successful positions as well. I’m really just taking what the defense gives me.”
Arizona shot the ball well from three, shooting 43% from deep. Every time Indiana would hit a big basket to inch back into the game in the fourth quarter, the Wildcats would hit a big three to keep the Hoosiers from coming back.
Usually Arizona women’s basketball is forcing turnovers and getting into transition to score on a fast break but today, both teams kept the turnovers down under ten as Arizona committed eight turnovers and Indiana committed nine turnovers.
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The Wildcats controlled the paint by out rebounding the Hoosiers 42-34. Arizona crashed the offensive glass well out rebounding Indiana 11-7 and that led to 12 second chance points. McDonald, who is five-foot-six inches tall, led the team with 11 rebounds.
The biggest concern from this game was Arizona’s only reliable offense was when McDonald was shooting the ball. She shot the ball at a high clip of 60%, but her teammates only shot the ball at a concerning clip of 29%.
“[McDonald] has been amazing," head coach Adia Barnes said. "Stars make big plays. They step up when it really counts. No one remembers how you start, they remember how you finish … she’s been unstoppable. No ones been able to guard her.”
Arizona will face No. 1 seed UConn on Friday, April 2. This will be the first trip to the Final Four in program history.
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