GAMEDAY Womens Basketball



Arizona 76, Northern Arizona 63

TUCSON, Ariz. - Cate Reese scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, Aari McDonald added 18 points and No. 7 Arizona opened its season with a 76-63 victory over Northern Arizona.

McDonald, a preseason AP All-America selection, scored in double figures for a 67th straight game, which is the nation's longest active streak. She made just 6 of 17 of her shots but finished with eight assists, seven rebounds and six steals.

The Wildcats struggled from long range, missing their first seven 3-pointers before McDonald knocked one down late in the third quarter. But Arizona compensated with a dominant performance inside, scoring 60 points in the paint. The 6-foot-2 Reese shot 9 of 13 from the field.

Northern Arizona (1-1) was playing its second game after beating UNLV 79-75 in the opener. The Lumberjacks jumped out to a 13-8 lead midway through the first quarter but Arizona recovered to take an 18-15 lead by the end of the period and didn't trail again.

McDonald had a steal at mid-court to open the second quarter which led to a layup for her first field goal of game. The 5-foot-6 senior averaged more than 20 points per game last season.

Arizona led 30-24 at halftime. Northern Arizona shot just 3 of 20 (15%) from the field in the second quarter.

McDonald had another steal and layup on the first possession of the second half which helped jump-start a 31-point third quarter that led to a 61-46 advantage.

Northern Arizona was led by Jacqulynn Nakai's 17 points. Emily Rodabaugh added 14 points and eight rebounds.. The Lumberjacks slowly fell behind in the second half, unable to stop Arizona from getting close-range baskets.

Arizona is trying to build off last year's breakout season when the Wildcats finished with a 24-7 record, including a 12-4 mark in the Pac-12. It's an experienced team that returns more than 6,000 career points, which leads the nation.

This was Arizona's only scheduled non-conference game before 22 straight games against Pac-12 opponents.


BOX SCORE

Associated Press


November 29, 2020


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