2022 USD Thanksgiving Classic preview

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Nathanial Stenchever | The Daily Wildcat

Kailyn Gilbert, a guard on the Arizona women's basketball team, is named player of the game and beats the drum twice for the two wins this season on Nov. 13, in McKale Center. The Wildcats won their second game 87-47.

The Arizona women’s basketball team is traveling to San Diego to play in the University of San Diego’s Thanksgiving Classic. Held at The Dana, on Mission Bay, four teams will be participating in the approaching tournament starting this Friday. 

USD is hosting three teams including Idaho State University, California Baptist University and the University of Arizona.

Arizona WBB has had a successful season so far with an overall undefeated record of 4-0 along with two more wins against West Texas A&M University and California State University, Los Angeles in their first two exhibition games. With an average of 93.3 points per game, UA women’s basketball has a clear-cut advantage in the tournament starting this Friday, although the competition will not be overlooked.

With the new transfer, Esmery Martinez, a senior from Hato Mayor Del Ray, Dominican Republic, scored 20 points in their game against NAU on Nov. 10, along with totaling 254 rebounds in her junior season at West Virginia University. Arizona has an advantage towards the other teams in the tournament. Unsurprisingly, Cate Reese is another advantage that Arizona has over the other teams. Just coming out of one of her season high games against Loyola Marymount University in California, she is ready to put her best foot forward this weekend.

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California Baptist Lancers:

The Wildcats are up against the California Baptist Lancers in their first game of the tournament. With an overall 2-2 record, Arizona has an upper hand. Although the Lancers have a worse record than Arizona, they have players that will put up a good game. Trinity San Antonio is a sophomore guard from Moreno Valley, California. This season, San Antonio is already averaging 23.3 points per game. Chloe Webb, a junior, is another strong guard, originally from San Diego, she has a team-high average of 5.7 rebounds per game in 2021-22. 

San Diego Toreros:

In the Wildcats' second game they are facing the San Diego Toreros, with a 3-2 overall record. In the 2022-23 season, USD lost two of their players to UA, but their front-runner Myah Pace, a graduate student out of Oakland, California, will hold the team strong in the Thanksgiving Classic. In Pace’s senior year, she led the team with an average of 11.8 points per game. She will be entering the tournament after a season-high against Florida Gulf Coast University on Nov. 20, after scoring 16 points in the game. Kiera Oakry, a redshirt senior from San Diego, is another powerful player that will play a strong game against UA. In her 2021-22 season, she led USD in 3-point percentage with 40.4%. 

Idaho State Bengals:

Arizona WBB isn't facing the Idaho State Bengals in this tournament, although the Bengals are playing both USD and CBU. Idaho State women’s basketball has had a tough start to their 2022-23 season with an overall record of 2-3. 

This tournament will allow the Wildcats to practice strategy and tune up their gameplay for the rest of the Pac-12 season.


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