The Arizona Wildcats have five games left in the regular season. All of them are winnable. Yes, including the Feb. 28 game againt No. 8 Stanford. Winning means getting into the NCAA Tournament and likely even hosting a few games.
“I wouldn’t have thought we’d be in a situation where we know we’re going to be in for sure,” Arizona coach Adia Barnes said. “And we’re not there yet because we have five games to go, but there’s a really good chance if we take care of business. So, I just tried to narrow our focus and think one game at a time.”
The first of those five is against the Washington State Cougars. The Cougars played an incredibly tough schedule in the non-conference season, but it hasn’t helped them in the equally tough Pac-12. They’ve dropped nine of their 13 conference games, including a 74-67 affair against the Wildcats in Pullman.
The Cougars can definitely put some fear into ranked teams. On Friday, they pushed No. 22 Arizona State before the Sun Devils took the 62-59 victory.
As usual, they were led by their senior tandem of Borislava Hristova and Chanelle Molina. Hristova had 24 points, which moved her to No. 14 on the Pac-12’s all-time scoring list with 2,166 points. The senior has played parts of five seasons on her way to becoming Washington State’s all-time leading scorer.
Hristova leads the team with 18.7 points per game, placing her third in the Pac-12 behind Aari McDonald and UCLA’s Michaela Onyenwere. She’s one of six Cougars who shoots at least 40 percent from the field, coming in fourth at 45.6 percent shooting.
Molina is another one of those players. The point guard shoots 45.3 percent from the field including 37.6 percent from 3-point range. While she and Hristova are the only two players on the team who average double-digit scoring, she is one of three who shoots at least 37.5 percent from distance.
Where the Cougars struggle are defense and rebounding. Molina is their leading rebounder with 6.2 rpg. They allow opponents to score 66.9 points per game compared to Arizona’s opponents who score 53.8 ppg. Meanwhile, WSU scores just 67 ppg on offense compared to 69.3 for Arizona.
The Wildcats have the edge in every aspect of this game. Can they capitalize?
Arizona-Washington State game details:
Date: Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020
Time: 12 p.m. MST
Location: McKale Center in Tucson, Ariz.
Records: Arizona (20-4, 9-4), Washington State (11-14, 4-9)
Rankings and ratings: Arizona is ranked No. 12 in both the Associated Press and the USA Today/WBCA polls. Washington State is unranked.
Analytics site Her Hoop Stats rates the Cougars No. 82 and the Wildcats No. 15 overall. Washington State is rated the No. 56 offense and the No. 126 defense. The Wildcats are the No. 32 offense and the No. 7 defense.
The official RPI has Washington State at No. 100 and Arizona at No. 23.
Which channel is Arizona-Washington State on?
The game will be aired on Pac-12 Arizona. Cindy Brunson and Joan Bonvicini will be on the call.
How can I stream Arizona-Washington State?
The stream will be available on Pac-12.com, but only if you already subscribe to the Pac-12 Network. Click the “How to watch” button at the top of the link.
How can I listen to the radio call of Arizona-Washington State?
The call by Derrick Palmer is available on the Arizona IMG Sports Network. On the radio, you can tune into KTUC 1400 AM. You can also listen via Tunein.com or the Tunein app on your mobile device.
Where can I find stats for Arizona-Washington State?
Official stats are available on Arizona Live Stats both during and after the game.
How can I follow Arizona-Washington State?
You can follow us on Twitter @AZDesertSwarm. You can also follow our editor @RKelapire and our reporter @KimDoss71 for coverage of Arizona women’s basketball on game day and every other day of the week.