The Wildcats didn’t just beat the No. 22 team in the country. They made an announcement to the country and the pollsters with an 83-58 victory.
Aari McDonald has been known to put the Wildcats on her back in the past. On Sunday, it could—and probably will—be framed that way, as she set a career high with 44 points going 14-18 from the floor, including 2-for-5 from 3. Hitting all 14 of her foul shots didn’t hurt, either.
No one at Arizona had ever scored more than 40 points.
Last time McDonald set a career high it was in desperation against Loyola Marymount as the Lions upset the Wildcats in Tucson. This time it was dominating in a blow-out victory over a ranked team. But it wasn’t just the star guard.
“Everybody did their part,” head coach Adia Barnes told radio announcer Derrick Palmer after the game.
Barnes was especially pleased with the work Cate Reese and Dominique McBryde did against a big, athletic frontcourt.
“Without (Reese’s) post defense today, we don’t win,” she said. “I think her work and Dominique’s work in the post was phenomenal.”
They did it without fouling, as well. In earlier games, the Wildcats have faced foul trouble on several occasions, especially by their bigs. Arizona only put Texas on the line six times. The Longhorns hit just three of those free throws.
With McDonald’s 44 points and Reese’s 17, it was all the offense the visitors needed. The two Arizona stars outscored Texas on their own.
The Wildcats also addressed some other issues they’ve had in earlier games. They shot 42.9 percent from outside and 50 percent overall. They got to the line, going 20-23 on their foul shots. Even getting outrebounded by four didn’t phase Barnes simply because of the frontcourt Texas puts on the floor.
As for getting into the rankings, Barnes is more concerned about what happens on the court.
“If we do the things we’re capable of, those things will come,” she said.