Aari McDonald, the NCAA career scoring leader among active players, tallied 19 points to lead the No. 6 Arizona women’s basketball team to a 77-60 victory over Utah on Sunday at the Huntsman Center.
McDonald also chipped in six rebounds and six assists in a strong all-around effort that kept the Wildcats (6-0, 5-0 Pac-12) undefeated.
Cate Reese and Sam Thomas added 11 points apiece for the Wildcats. As a team, Arizona forced Utah to commit 22 turnovers and scored 29 points off those turnovers.
Niyah Becker scored 13 points to lead the Utes. Brynna Maxwell added 11 points. Peyton McFarland chipped in 10 points and 11 rebounds. The Utes (2-4, 1-4 Pac-12) shot just 38% from the floor.
“Our turnovers just continue to crush us,” Utah coach Lynn Roberts said. “We can’t give them 10 more possessions and expect to win.”
Arizona got going early, opening the game by making its first six shots from the field. It set the tone as the Wildcats dominated on both ends of the court for long stretches.
They used two separate 8-0 runs to sprint out to a 28-17 lead by the end of the first quarter. McDonald scored three baskets and assisted on three others to get Arizona’s offense rolling during the quarter.
Utah had a tough time staying within striking distance while struggling with turnovers and poor shooting. The Utes shot just 39% from the floor in the first half and committed 11 turnovers, leading to nine points for the Wildcats.
McDonald made it tougher for Utah to rally after halftime. She scored three baskets, capped by a layup off a steal, to fuel an 11-2 run that put Arizona up 52-35 early in the third quarter.
The Utes trimmed the deficit to 60-53 early in the fourth quarter after Maxwell and Becker made back-to-back baskets. The Wildcats ran off 12 unanswered points over two minutes to stifle the comeback attempt.
The teams met on Friday to open their Big Sky Conference season and Weber State rolled 94-66. This time the Vikings led by a dozen at halftime but the Wildcats put together a 15-0 run to go 67-62 with seven minutes to go.
Khalid Thomas, who scored 20 points for the Vikings, hit a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 72-70 with 2:13 to play. Both teams missed chances — the Wildcats misfired on their last four shots — before Scott worked his way into the lane and attacked the rim.
John Hall then blocked Weber State’s Cody Carlson layup attempt before Parison Dawson made a final free throw.
Ian Burke had six rebounds for Portland State (2-3, 1-1 Big Sky Conference).
Isiah Brown had 15 points for the Wildcats (3-2, 1-1). Zahir Porter added 13 points. Dillon Jones had 12 points.
State colleges: Sixth-ranked Arizona knocks off Utah women /p>