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Arizona’s Kailyn Gilbert named Pac-12 Player of the Week

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: DEC 13 Women’s - Texas at Arizona

Playing top teams and excelling has its benefits. Arizona women’s basketball lost to No. 5 Texas last week, but it wasn’t because sophomore guard Kailyn Gilbert didn’t put up big numbers. That performance was followed by a big night against ASU in the Wildcats’ Pac-12 opener. The two performances garnered Gilbert her first Pac-12 Player of the Week award.

Gilbert averaged 22.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game in two contests last week. She shot 83.3 percent from 3-point range.

Gilbert scored 26 points against the Longhorns in the 88-75 loss. It tied her career high which was set against Cal Baptist last season. She hit 8 of 21 from the field including 3 of 3 from distance. She also hit 7 of 8 free throws. Gilbert added two assists in the contest.

On Sunday, Gilbert was a huge part of Arizona’s team win over the Sun Devils to start Pac-12 play. She led the team with 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting. She hit two of the three 3-point shots she took to finish the week five of six from beyond the arc. She added six rebounds, four assists, and one steal. The assists were also a team high.

Gilbert’s six assists over the two games were big. Even bigger was the fact that she limited her turnovers, which have haunted her this season. She had four turnovers in the two contests, giving her a positive assist-to-turnover ratio for the week. Against UT, she had two turnovers against her two assists. At ASU, it was two turnovers against four assists. They were the fourth and fifth games this season where she had an even or positive assist-to-turnover ratio.

“I thought we did a really good job of everybody trying to look for the next person and that’s a sign of growth because we weren’t doing that before,” Arizona head coach Adia Barnes said after the win over ASU. “We would dribble and not look up. I thought Kailyn is the one who was the catalyst on that. She’s the one that gets us going by her doing that.”

The weekly award is the second of Gilbert’s career. She was Pac-12 Freshman of the Week on Nov. 22, 2022.