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Cate Reese named Pac-12 Player of the Week after leading Arizona to 3 wins, showing that she can shoot

TUCSON, ARIZ. — Cate Reese (25) gives Aari McDonald (2) a high-five. Arizona Womens Basketball vs. Washington State at McKale Center. Feb. 12, 2021.
Simon Asher / Arizona Athletics

In a week when Arizona Wildcats forward Cate Reese taught everyone that they shouldn’t doubt her ability to shoot, the junior also took home the Pac-12 Player of the Week award.

On Monday, the conference announced that 18.0 points and 4.3 rebounds over three games constituted the best performance of the week. Reese shot 52.5 percent from the field, 66.7 percent from the 3-point line, and 80 percent from the free throw line.

Reese started off hot against then-No. 11 Oregon on Monday. After hearing that the Ducks thought she couldn’t shoot, she went off for a season-high 25 points on 11-of-14 shooting. Nine of those points came from distance as she hit all three of her outside shots, doubling her total for the season. She added six rebounds, two assists and a block for a well-rounded evening on national TV.

Four days later, it was time to avenge the loss to Washington State. Reese again played a big role with 17 points and six rebounds in the Wildcats’ victory. She also threw in an assist in her 32 minutes of play.

In her third game of the week, Reese had 12 points and one rebound against Washington. Her three steals tied Aari McDonald for the team high.

This is Reese’s first weekly conference honor this season. She took the award twice last season and won Freshman of the Week three times in 2018-19.

She is Arizona’s second honoree this season making the Wildcats one of three teams to have multiple players win the award. McDonald won on Dec. 21.

“If you look at the first part of the season, Cate was in foul trouble a lot, so she was limited, she was kind of pulled in and out because of foul trouble,” Barnes said of Reese after the WSU win. “She’s done a much better job of just being more solid defensively in the right position and she’s put a lot of effort into it and focus. And I think that’s one of the big things. And then when you’re getting stops and our team is thriving off that, you’re more confident offense. And I have to give our guards credit. They’re doing a much better job of looking for the post players. They’re pounding the ball into Cate, they’re pounding it into Trinity (Baptiste) and Lauren (Ware), and we weren’t doing that before.”