It’s the first evidence that you’re no longer a freshman. Instead of nominations for Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honors, you find your name listed with the stars of the league— Sabrina Ionescu, Aari McDonald, and Michaela Onyenwere. That was the experience of Cate Reese.
Reese was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week three times last season, but she had never been honored as the Pac-12 Player of the Week. That came to an end on Monday afternoon as the Arizona forward received her first Pac-12 Player of the Week nod.
Reese led the Wildcats with 19 points and 17 rebounds in their win over UTEP on Sunday. The sophomore was also responsible for three blocks and a steal in a game Arizona really needed her to dominate. With both Dominique McBryde and Sevval Gül out with injuries, the Wildcats were depleted on the interior. You would have never known that, as neither of last week’s opponents could handle Reese.
The display in El Paso wasn’t her first double-double of the week. On Dec. 2, Reese accounted for 16 points and 11 rebounds as Arizona defeated Monmouth in McKale Center. Over the two games she connected on 13 of 22 shots, good for a 59.1 shooting percentage.
Arizona is the first Pac-12 team to have two conference players of the week this season. Aari McDonald won after the Wildcats defeated Texas in week two.