Last year, the Montana Grizzlies came to Tucson for the Wildcats’ annual School Day game. It was a 100-51 romp by Arizona. The return trip to Missoula didn’t end with the century mark, but Arizona’s performance was every bit as dominating.
The Wildcats took the game 77-42 with four players scoring in double digits.
Aari McDonald led all scorers with 19 points on 50 percent shooting. She added seven rebounds, an assist and two steals in her 25 minutes on the floor.
Freshman Helena Pueyo had her second straight game in double digits with 14 points on 6-for-8 shooting. She hit two of her three 3-point attempts.
It was a new career high for the guard from Spain, who had 12 in her last outing against Prairie View A&M. Pueyo also had five rebounds, as assist and a steal against the Grizzlies.
Just behind Pueyo was Cate Reese with 13 points. Reese went 5-for-11 from the floor and hit all three of her free throws. She grabbed a game-high eight boards, blocked three shots and had a steal.
Sam Thomas also hit the double-digit mark with 12 points on 4-for-5 shooting. Thomas has shot at least 50 percent in five of the Wildcats’ six games this season and at least 80 percent in three of them.
As always, it wasn’t just scoring that made Thomas valuable, though. She kicked in six rebounds, three assists, a block and two steals.
As a team, the Wildcats shot 51.7 percent for the game and 35 percent from 3. On the other end of the court, they held the Griz to 24 percent from the floor and 25 percent from outside. Arizona also out-rebounded the home team 46-27.
The only major issue for the Wildcats was at the foul line. They went to the line just 12 times, and they sent the Grizzlies to the line 17 times. Montana hit 76.5 percent of those shots, while Arizona was only good for 66.7 percent of their free throws.
The Wildcats will take the court again the day after Thanksgiving. They return home to face UC Riverside at 4 p.m. MST on Friday, Nov. 29.