The Arizona women’s basketball team crushed NAU in their first game of the season in McKale Center 113-56 on Thursday, Nov. 10.
The past three times the Wildcats have played the Lumberjacks, it resulted in a win for Arizona. Arizona possessed the ball a majority of the first half securing 17 points at the first media break, while NAU only had 8. The Wildcats had 14 points in the paint during the first quarter and 6 points off the bench. Shaina Pellington led the offense in points in the first half having 14 points, followed by Esmery Martinez, who secured 11 points by the half.
“I have had experience; this is my fifth year with a lot of repetition — and with the newcomers coming in, it makes it easier for me. Each and every single one of them can put the ball in the hoop,” Pellington said. “I have never been on a better team than the one I am on currently; the sky's the limit with this team."
The Wildcat’s defense looked strong against the Lumberjacks, containing NAU player Regan Schenck. Martinez and Cate Reese both had two blocks, and Helena Pueyo had one.
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The third-quarter breakdown begins with Reese scoring a 2-pointer to start after halftime. There were a total of 12 points in the paint and 6 off of rebounds. Martinez and Lauren Fields had 9 points each in the third quarter alone. The score was 91-39 at the end of the third quarter going into the fourth.
In the fourth quarter, the Wildcats had a total of 16 points in the paint, 10 points off turns and 11 bench points. Pellington, Reese, Jade Loville, Lemyah Hylton, Kailyn Gilbert and Paris Clark all scored in the fourth quarter. The Wildcats won their first game of the season by doubling the Lumberjacks in points. The Wildcats are looking to improve their free throws and boxing out, but the overall performance for the first game was excellent.
“We made a huge jump from the last two weeks; we got better offensively. We still have a lot to work on, but I thought in the second quarter we had really solid defense and turned them over," head coach Adia Barnes said. "Martinez went double-double before the end of the first half. She has a really special knack for the ball — she has quick hops; that's instinct.”
“I am trying to work hard and rebound; that's my job. I am doing my job. The freshman stepped up in this game getting," Martinez said.
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