Arizona wins WNIT, topping Northwestern 56-42

It was a poetic end for the Arizona Wildcats' season in Saturday's WNIT Championship as Arizona comfortably downed Northwestern 56-42 to claim the title. The UA victory came in front of a sold out McKale Center crowd of 14,644, which was a program record as well as the largest crowd in Pac-12 Women's Basketball history.

Sophomore Aari McDonald finished with a game-high 19 points, ending her season just shy of 900 points. She paced coach Adia Barnes' team to the title 23 years after Barnes helped guide the Wildcats to a NWIT crown as a player.

Cate Reese continued her outstanding play to finish the season as she scored 13 points to go along with nine rebounds. Tee Tee Starks made a pair of three-pointers and scored 12 points with five rebounds.

The capacity crowd in McKale Center was the culmination of a frenzied wave of support throughout Tucson during the program's postseason run as over 46,000 fans Arizona's six WNIT home games. Coach Barnes and the Wildcats set their program record for attendance with 10,135 fans in the semifinal win over TCU before eclipsing that with 14,644 three days later.

As it has been all season, the Wildcats' defense set the tone for Saturday's win. Northwestern shot just 26.5 percent from the field for the game as the home team also outrebounded the visiting Wildcats by 13. UA's defense was particularly strong in the second quarter, allowing just five points en route to a 30-17 edge at halftime.

The offense picked up in the third quarter for both teams, but Arizona was still able to keep their distance and took a 49-33 lead into the fourth quarter. Arizona held Northwestern to just 18% shooting in the fourth quarter and walked off the court champions.

After the game, McDonald was named WNIT MVP and Reese was named to the WNIT All-Tournament Team.

Arizona athletics

April 6, 2019

Women's Basketball
  UNC's Hatchell resigns
  Brooks Williams named Louisiana-Monroe coach
  Kellie Harper named Tennessee womens basketball head coach
  Georgia Tech hires Nell Fortner
  Appalachian State extends womens coach Elderkin
  Baylor 82, Notre Dame 81
  Arizona wins WNIT, topping Northwestern 56-42
  Notre Dame 81, Connecticut 76
  Baylor 72, Oregon 67
  Penn State hires Kieger as women's basketball coach
  Notre Dame 84, Stanford 68
  Baylor 85, Iowa 53
  Oregon 88, Mississippi State 84
  Connecticut 80, Louisville 73
  Stanford 55, Missouri State 46
  Notre Dame 87, Texas A&M 80
  Baylor 93, South Carolina 68
  Iowa 79, NC State 61
  Oregon 63, South Dakota State 53
  Louisville 61, Oregon State 44
  Mississippi State 73, Arizona State 53
  Connecticut 69, UCLA 61
  Iowa State womens coach Fennelly signs extension
  Holly Warlick out at Tennessee
  Georgia Tech fires women's basketball coach MaChelle Joseph