LAS VEGAS — Arizona educate Adia Barnes couldn’t have asked for a higher start to the Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The Wildcats shot 57.4 percentage from the floor, have been 8 of 16 (50 percent) from long variety, outrebounded USC forty one-28 and outscored the Trojans within the paint 40-20.
Yet, as exuberant as Barnes changed into while she entered the locker room to congratulate her gamers, she stated Thursday’s 76-48 demolition left her wanting greater in Las Vegas.
“I do not think it is our most complete game,” stated Barnes, whose Wildcats are having their satisfactory season in 8 years after triumphing simply six games last season. “I think we played basketball properly. However, I wouldn’t say it is our whole maximum sport due to the fact I idea the 1/3 quarter turned into horrific. I assume we played an honestly exact first half of. I assume we got here out and we were truly severe, we have been amazing defensively. We had a few suitable offenses. But I wouldn’t say it’s our fine sport.”
Next up, the eighth-seeded Wildcats (18-12) face No. 1 seed Oregon (27-3), which regularly has whole video games, and just defeated Arizona 83-fifty four on March 1.
“Oregon is an outstanding crew, and we felt we played 30 minutes of true basketball against them,” Barnes stated. “We recognize they’re coached very well. They have a lot of weapons. But we feel like we’ve got a few true weapons, too, so we are excited.”
Redshirt sophomore Aari McDonald, who owns the unmarried-season scoring document at Arizona and changed into named to the all-conference crew earlier inside the week, led the fee in opposition to USC, scoring 19 points on 8 of 14 taking pictures from the field, even as adding seven assists and four rebounds to her stat sheet.
Cate Reese, who became named to the Pac 12 All-Freshman Team, additionally scored 19 factors for the Wildcats, at the same time as grabbing 11 rebounds. It changed into Reese’s sixth double-double of the season.
But it became the inspiring play using Tee Tee Starks that Barnes praised, announcing it allowed the relaxation of the group to get at ease in their roles and create rhythm on offense while shutting down the Trojans on the shielding quit.
Starks completed with 14 points on five of 7 capturing (four-for-5 from 3-point range), five assists, 4 rebounds and become instrumental in keying-in defensively to stymie the typically amazing USC offense.
“When Tee Tee hit a pair 3s inside the beginning, I’m like, ‘ok, I type of like where that is going,’ and she sincerely took a variety of stress off me these days, and so did Cate and my other teammates,” McDonald stated. “Like they’re beginning to make a contribution on the right time. But Tee Tee truly had an green recreation today, and we need her to hold that for us to preserve winning.”
Las Vegas product Sam Thomas, the simplest participant inside the Pac-12 to average as a minimum 1.7 steals and 1.1 blocks consistent with recreation, turned into Arizona’s simplest other participant scoring in double digits, contributing with 10 factors.
“It changed into awesome to play in the front of everybody. I had my family there, a couple friends, old teammates, so it changed into just high-quality to see them behind the bench,” said Thomas, who scored seven of her points inside the 2nd half of. “I just desired to pop out and get the win. If my teammates were on fireplace like they were, I just wanted to feed them first after which I’ll get mine later.”
USC (17-thirteen) came in averaging 70.7 factors per sport on .417 percentage capturing, however, couldn’t locate its groove towards the Wildcats’ swarming defense that allowed 62.6 points in line with recreation in the course of the average season on an insignificant 39 percentage from the ground. In 30 video games this season, Arizona has held its opponent too much less than their scoring average 22 times.
“You’ve just were given to give all the credit inside the international to Arizona,” USC instruct Mark Trakh stated. “They played well. They defended us properly. They ran their offense properly. They’ve got a child it’s clearly tough to protect in McDonald, and we tried. But I concept defensively we weren’t sure that awful, particularly in the second half of. It changed into just offensively a combination in their protection, and we hadn’t shot like that during the long term.”
USC completed sixteen-for-62 (.258) from the floor, consisting of four of 18 from 3-point variety.
The Trojans have been led using Mariya Moore, who had 12 factors, notwithstanding taking pictures 2 of 14 from the floor. Kayla Overbeck brought 11 points and five rebounds within the loss.