The Arizona Wildcats are rolling.
Fresh off of a season that saw the Wildcats finish with 24 wins and close on a historic run to the WNIT title, Arizona has continued that momentum, darting out to a 4-0 start this season. The latest statement made by Arizona that it is an early season contender for an NCAA tournament berth for the first time since 2005 came on Sunday when the Wildcats went on the road and defeated No. 22 Texas handily, 83-58.
Junior Aari McDonald broke the Arizona single-game scoring record, scoring 44 points to lead the Wildcats to the win. McDonald shot 14-of-18 from the field and made all 14 of her free throw attempts as she made history in becoming the first Arizona player to ever top 40 points in a game. It was the most points any opposing player has scored in a game at Frank Erwin Center. The Wildcats were dominant on the defensive end, forcing Texas to shoot 39 percent and turned them over 21 times. On the flip side, Arizona shot 50 percent from the field and committed just nine turnovers. Cate Reese backed McDonald by scoring 17 points to go along with seven rebounds.
Earlier in the week on Nov. 12, Arizona scored an 82-50 road win over Chicago State. The Wildcats were also led by McDonald, who was incredibly efficient, scoring 24 points on 9-of-11 shooting while making all six of her free throw attempts. The Wildcats shot 51 percent from the field and held the Cougars to 26 percent shooting. Arizona scored 44 points off of turnovers and got 41 points from the bench, riding its fast-paced attack to 29 fast break points. Freshman Helena Pueyo scored 11 points to go along with seven steals, five rebounds and three assists. Seven steals is the most by a Wildcat since McDonald had eight last season vs. Colorado.
Head coach Adia Barnes and the Wildcats had opened the season with first week home wins over North Dakota (74-42) and Santa Clara (65-52).
McDonald is currently sixth in the country in scoring at 25.3 points per game. She and the Wildcats will return to action on Nov. 20 in a home game against Prairie View A&M.