In a top-25 Pac-12 clash Friday, the No. 8 UCLA Bruins will travel to Tucson to take on the No. 16 Arizona Wildcats.
Arizona went through a three-game slide earlier this month — falling to the Bruins, Oregon State and Oregon — but has since won three straight, capturing victories over Washington, Washington State and rival No. 19 Arizona State. Since beating Arizona on Jan. 5, UCLA has won four of its last five games.
The matchup could have an impact on not just next week’s AP Top 25 poll, but seeding for the Pac-12 tournament.
Here’s everything you need to know about Friday’s must-watch game.
Tip-off: Friday, 8 p.m. ET | Click or tap here for live stats
Where: The McKale Center in Tucson, Arizona
How to watch: The Pac-12 Network
Despite a performance from Wildcats’ guard Aari McDonald that saw her tally 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists, Arizona fell to UCLA in Los Angeles 70-58 earlier this month on Jan. 5.
The Bruins were led by a pair of players who notched double-doubles, as Michaela Onyenwere notched 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Chantel Horvat totaled 10 points and 10 rebounds. UCLA won the rebounding battle 47-33 and held Arizona to just 33.3 percent shooting from the floor.
Arizona has lost 13 straight games to UCLA. The Wildcats haven’t been victorious against the Bruins since March 7, 2012. UCLA owns a 47-19 all-time record in the series, which dates back to 1987.
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|8, 9||Rankings (AP, Coaches)||16, 17|
|18-1, 7-1||Record (overall, Pac-12)||16-3, 5-3|
|66-50 win over Washington State||Last Game||59-53 win over Arizona State|
|Cori Close||Head Coach||Adia Barnes|
|74.4||Points scored per-game||69.3|
|57.7||Points allowed per-game||51.2|
|Michaela Oyenwere (19.8)||Leading scorer (ppg)||Aari McDonald (20.5)|
|Michaela Oyenwere (7.8)||Leading rebounder (rpg)||Cate Reese (7.9)|
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Players to watch
UCLA: Michaela Onyenwere, Junior, Forward
An All-Pac-12 selection last season, Onyenwere is having a stellar junior campaign. Through 18 games this season, she’s averaging 19.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.5 steals per-game while shooting 50.7 percent from the floor, 31.8 percent from 3-point range and 77.8 percent from the free throw line. Among all Pac-12 players, she currently ranks second in scoring and seventh in rebounds.
A 6-foot native of Aurora, Colorado, Onyenwere has been on a tear recently, scoring at least 18 points in each of her last five games. Against Washington on Jan. 24, she dropped a season-high 31 points. Onyenwere has also grabbed double-digit rebounds four times this season.
Arizona: Aari McDonald, Junior, Guard
After setting the single-season scoring record at Arizona and leading the Wildcats to a WNIT title as a sophomore, McDonald is after a higher prize in 2020. With McDonald leading the way, the Wildcats are on track to make the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2005.
This season, McDonald is averaging 20.5 points per game, a mark that leads the Pac-12 and is 15th best in the nation. She’s also posted per-game averages of 6.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists. She’s scored at least 15 points in each of her last 10 games. Earlier this season, against Texas, she dropped 44 points in a win.