SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Aari McDonald arrived again for one more season at Arizona to do some thing special. Adia Barnes returned to her alma mater as coach for the exact same explanation.
How sweet it is for McDonald, the reigning Pac-twelve participant of the 12 months, and the current coach who was the league’s leading participant in 1998, the only other time the Wildcats acquired this significantly in the women’s NCAA Event.
McDonald experienced seventeen points and 11 rebounds, alongside with a video game-sealing steal, and Arizona outlasted BYU 52-46 on Wednesday night time to advance to the Sweet sixteen for the 1st time considering the fact that Barnes’ senior season.
“Aari arrived again, arrived on a mission,” said Barnes, in her fifth season coaching the Wildcats and less than deal through 2025-26. “She determined to not go professional. … She required to leave her mark, leave her legacy and get this workforce on her again and get us to great items. And she’s performed that.”
The third-seeded Wildcats (18-five) are in the NCAA Event for the 1st time considering the fact that 2005. They would have built it very last season, when they were being 24-7 right before the tourney was canceled for the reason that of the pandemic.
Arizona lastly went in advance to continue to be on a three-pointer by Sam Thomas with three:47 remaining, not long right after McDonald’s three lower their deficit to one. No. 11 seed BYU (19-six) experienced matched its most important guide of the video game on a layup by Shaylee Gonzales with just over five minutes remaining.
“I seemed up at the clock and I was like, ‘OK, we’re up 4. We have acquired five minutes remaining. We can do it.’ I completely considered in my workforce. … It’s extremely irritating to have that guide and to drop it,” Gonzales said. “Lots of persons assumed that we did not ought to have to be in this NCAA Event, but I hope these few of video games truly proved to everybody what type of workforce we are.”
2nd-workforce All-American McDonald capped the Mercado Region video game when she stole the ball from Gonzales, the co-West Coast Convention participant of the 12 months, and drove for a layup with three seconds remaining.
“Definitely did not want to end my season, did not want to go residence,” McDonald said. “I’m happy of this workforce for the reason that the 12 months right before we would have acquired rattled. … But we were being neat, tranquil and gathered. We arrived jointly and we performed jointly.”
The Wildcats stayed on the court docket at UTSA for far more than fifteen minutes right after they concluded to check out the Texas A&M-Iowa Condition video game on the movie board to see who they would participate in in the Sweet sixteen. They remaining the court docket when that video game went to overtime, right before the Aggies gained 84-82.
Texas native Cate Reese experienced twelve points for Arizona, and Trinity Baptiste experienced 11 rebounds right before fouling out.
Gonzales experienced sixteen points for BYU. Tegan Graham experienced 13.
Distinct AS A Mentor
Requested how unique the sensation was to get to the Sweet sixteen as a coach as opposed to when she did it as a participant, Barnes responded, “coaching is a whole lot more difficult than participating in. Since as a participant, you’re type of oblivious to a whole lot of items. You just type of go out and participate in.”
Barnes said it is also far more significant and gratifying, finding to check out the players becoming rewarded for their hard perform.
Arizona went in advance in the third quarter right after an extraordinary spurt by Reese, the six-foot-2 forward and 1st McDonald’s All-American to participate in at Arizona right after a standout prep job in Cypress, Texas — just about two hundred miles from San Antonio. Reese screamed heading again down the court docket right after a tiebreaking three-pointer from the leading of the critical. Immediately after a three-level participate in by Gonzales put BYU up by one, Reese took an inbound go and lower again inside of for a powerful layup, and additional one more three quickly right after finding whistled for a three-2nd violation.
NO SWEET End
BYU went to the Sweet sixteen in coach Jeff Judkins’ 1st season in 2002, and yet again in 2014, but missed a probability to get there yet again.
The Cougars may possibly have been the very last workforce put in the 64-workforce area right after a very last-2nd decline to Gonzaga in the West Coast Convention Event championship video game. The Cougars opened the NCAA tourney with a sixty nine-66 upset of Rutgers, with Gonzales making the very last of her six straight free throws with 13.4 seconds remaining.
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