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Rick Nixon | | December 29, 2020

Women's college basketball: Arizona is named's Team of the Week

Tara VanDerveer builds her ultimate Stanford women's basketball dream player

Currently ranked No. 6 in the latest Associated Press women’s college basketball top-25 poll, the highest ranking in school history, the Arizona Wildcats continued to roll this week as they head towards a New Year’s Day showdown with No. 1 Stanford.

The Wildcats (7-0) rolled to a 96-42 win over Idaho on Dec. 23, in its only game of Christmas week, with its bench accounting for 58 of the points. Shaina Pellington led the way with 16 points and Helena Pueyo had all of her 14 points in the first half, while Cate Reese scored 12 points, Aari McDonald added 11 points and six assists and Lauren Ware had 10 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. Pueyo tied a career high with four 3-pointers. Pellington, a junior transfer from Oklahoma, was the Big 12 freshman of the year in 2017-18.

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Arizona went on a 16-0 run spanning the late first and early second quarters to take a 34-9 lead. They scored the first 12 points to the second half to conclude a 24-0 run for a 66-20 lead. The Wildcats had a 54-28 rebounding edge and scored 25 second-chance points and 56 points in the paint.

McDonald, a 5-6 senior guard, is the leader for Arizona. The 2020 winner of the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award, which recognizes the top shooting guard in the country, McDonald has scored in double figures in 73 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the NCAA and is now fifth all-time in scoring in Arizona history. McDonald is Arizona’s top scorer this season averaging 20.1 points per game.

The upcoming Jan. 1 home game with top-ranked Stanford will be an early 2021 Pac-12 Conference test for Arizona, which defeated Stanford in its only meeting with the Cardinal last season, winning 73-72 in overtime in Tucson on Feb. 28.

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