Arizona women's basketball rolls past Utah without McDonald

Anthony Gimino

Life with Aari McDonald is great for the Arizona women's basketball team. Life without here was just fine Friday night.

The junior whirlwind sat out the game at Utah because of a lower-leg injury, but the Wildcats still managed to motor past the Utes 85-69 with a career-high 31 points from junior Sam Thomas and a huge boost from senior backup guard Lucia Alonso.

Playing 30 minutes, she picked up some of the scoring slack with a career-high 14 points, making 2 of 3 shots from 3-point range.

The 11th-ranked Wildcats improved to 22-4 overall and 11-4 in the loaded Pac-12.

Coach Adia Barnes said on her postgame radio show that she was "confident" McDonald would be able to play Sunday at Colorado.

Thomas made 8 of 13 shots from the field, including both of her 3-point tries. She pulled down six rebounds and was 13 of 13 from the free throw line.

"She knew she had to step up and I think she did an incredible job," Barnes said.

Helena Pueyo started for McDonald and scored six points.

With a win Sunday, Arizona has a chance to reach the AP Top 10, something it hasn't achieved since a No. 9 ranking in the final poll of the 1997-98 season, which ended in the Sweet 16 with a loss to UConn.

Read more about the game and Arizona women from Javier Morales at our sister site,

Comments (2)

An Arizona program and coach you can believe in...that is refreshing!

No. 1-2
Gary Randazzo
Gary Randazzo


Winning is fun, but what's really fun is seeing this team continue to improve. Adia Barnes is doing an absolutely amazing job.

I actually watched the UCLA-Washington State game last night. The Cougars played loose and fast for the first 35 minutes and maintained the lead the majority of the game, but UCLA dominated the game's final two minutes. I'm only writing this to show how deep the Pac-12 is this year in women's hoops. Arizona needs to stay focused and bring the heat to Boulder.