Arizona Women’s Basketball: Record attendance spurs Wildcats in WNIT semifinal win


Arizona Wildcats Women’s basketball takes care of business against TCU to continue their run in the WNIT, advancing to the championship game.

Nerves were apparent early as the Arizona Women’s basketball team got off to a slow start against TCU on Thursday night in McKale. The Horned Frogs jumped out to an early 7-6 lead, but the Wildcats would then begin to settle down and get back into it  by playing their style of basketball.

Behind the play of their superstar guard, Aari McDonald, would finish the game with 19 points and nine rebounds on the night. McDonald left everything out on the court and helped her team secure a spot in the WNIT Championship game, as the Cats won 59-53.

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Defense, forced turnovers and three pointers were keys to the first half success for the Wildcats. They knocked down 7-17 from long distance and also took real great care of the ball with only three turnovers. Those type of stats will make any coach happy. TCU did go on a small 6-0 run to close the first half, but the Arizona still maintained a 29-23 lead at the half.

In the second half the Wildcats continued where they left off in the first half, knocking down timely three pointers to limit TCU runs.

The big area where the Wildcats struggled and TCU dominated, was on the boards. Believe it or not, the Wildcats got out-rebounded 50-33 and gave up 23 offensive rebounds to TCU. That would be expected though as the Wildcats were clearly undersized in comparison. They did have 19 points off of turnovers, which made up for the lack of rebounds.

Another huge factor to the win was the fans. Coach Adia Barnes all week long had been challenging them on social media and they delivered, setting a new home attendance record of 10,135 – that’s 3,000 more then last game, wow! That type of support from fans and the city of Tucson says a lot about the program, and only demonstrates the power of social media that coach Barnes is utilizing to her advantage, why!?

Arizona will now move in the WNIT against Northwestern in hopes of capturing the program’s second WNIT Tournament Championship. The last time they won the WNIT is when Barnes was a playing for the Wildcats, and as fate would have it, they made it to the championship and beat none other than Northwestern. Hopefully, this symbolizes some good luck for the ARIZONA Wildcats on Saturday.

What a special time this is for Arizona Women’s Basketball. This is only the start of something that’s going to be special for years to come folks, so if you haven’t gotten on-board yet and come to a game, I’d highly encourage you to do so. I can promise you won’t regret coming to watch this team continue to come together and play inspired basketball for each other, and for you as a fan.

Relive all the exciting moments of this semifinal game:

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At Zona Zealots, we would like to congratulate this team on the big win and advancing to the WNIT Championship game. It’s special to see how this team is so inspired and truly believes in themselves. Also, shout out to the amazing fans in Tucson for once again showing out big time, now lets sell McKale Center out on Saturday! Bear Down, Arizona!