After a heartbreaking loss to the Stanford Cardinal last week, Arizona coach Adia Barnes said she didn’t know how her players would respond against California two days later. What she saw was a team that came out strong from the start.
Their resilience impressed her, even if they were unable to close the deal against the Golden Bears.
The Wildcats would need to show the same kind of resilience if they hoped to beat the No. 6 Oregon Ducks. They came out showing that kind of heart, but they didn’t have the strength to stay with the conference’s No. 1 team for a full 40 minutes, losing by the final score of 83-54.
After outscoring the Wildcats by only four points in the first and second quarters and two in the third, the Ducks won the final 10 minutes by a margin of 19-0.
Aari McDonald led all scorers with 26 points on 9-for-18 shooting, including 3-for-6 from three. She dished out five assists, had two steals and corralled four rebounds. No one else was in double figures for the Wildcats.
The first quarter was a close affair with neither team able to build a lead of more than four points. The Wildcats lead for the first four-and-a-half minutes. Oregon finally took the lead for good with 2:10 to go, and ended the quarter ahead 20-16.
Early in the second, the Wildcats put together a 10-5 run over four minutes to close the lead to a single point. With the opportunity to take their first lead since 3:16 in the first quarter, the Wildcats let Oregon go on their own run. The Ducks outscored the ‘Cats 11-4 over the final 3:55 of the half to take a 40-32 lead into the locker room.
The third quarter was a back-and-forth affair, with Oregon outscoring Arizona 24-22. Heading into the fourth, the Ducks carried a 64-54 lead. The Wildcats wouldn’t score again.
Oregon secured at least a share of the Pac-12 regular season championship with their win. They will go for the outright title when they face Arizona State on Sunday
Arizona winds up the regular season on Sunday against No. 9 Oregon State at 3 p.m. MST. The game will air on the Pac-12 Networks.
Here’s what Adia Barnes had to say after Arizona Women's Basketball’s loss to No. 6 OregonPosted by AZ Desert Swarm on Friday, March 1, 2019
Lindsey Malecha and Bryce Nixon
Here’s senior Lindsey Malecha and freshman Bryce Nixon after Arizona Women's Basketball’s loss to No. 6 OregonPosted by AZ Desert Swarm on Friday, March 1, 2019