Pac-12 women’s basketball tournament: Arizona routs USC 76-48
Cate Reese and Aari McDonald scored 19 points each to help eighth-seeded Arizona beat ninth-seeded Southern Cal 76-48 in the opening round of the Pac-12 Tournament on Thursday.
The Wildcats (18-12) will face top-seeded Oregon on Friday in the quarterfinals of the tournament.
Arizona led 13-12 midway through the first quarter before scoring eight of the final 10 points. The team kept the momentum going in the second quarter with a 16-5 run to open the period and never looked back. The Wildcats led 44-21 at the half.
The Wildcats maintained at least a 20-point advantage for most of the second half that allowed coach Adia Barnes to get her starters some rest with another game Friday. Arizona has already secured its first 18-win season since 2010-11. That’s the last time the team was over .500 in the regular season. Mariya Moore, who was second in scoring for USC (17-13) during the season averaging 15.1 points, missed her first 10 shots and didn’t have a basket until early in the third quarter. She finished with 12 points, going 7-for-8 from the foul line.
Arizona State 66, Colorado 49: Courtney Ekmark scored 18 points and No. 20 Arizona State used a run at the start of the fourth quarter to pull away from Colorado and win 66-49 on Thursday in the opening round of the Pac-12 Tournament.
Ekmark hit six 3-pointers for the Sun Devils (20-9), who will play UCLA on Friday in the quarterfinals.
Fifth-seeded Arizona State led by 12 at the half, but 12-seed Colorado (12-18) rallied to within a point in the third quarter after scoring the first seven points of the period. Charnea Johnson-Chapman’s putback before the buzzer gave the Sun Devils some momentum heading into the final period. Ekmark hit a 3-pointer to begin an 11-2 burst that restored the double-digit advantage.
Kiara Russell and Sophia Elenga had back-to-back 3-point plays that gave Arizona State a 54-42 lead with 5:42 left.
The Buffaloes could get no closer than 10 the rest of the way.
Alexis Robinson scored 19 points to lead Colorado.
It was easy to see that it was going to be Arizona State’s day. Before the game, the Arizona State mascot, Sparky, hit a halfcourt shot over its head looking at the other basket, much to the delight of the hundreds of school kids in attendance.
California 77, Washington State 58: Kristine Anigwe had 27 points and 16 rebounds to lead seventh-seeded Cal to a 77-58 win over 10th-seeded Washington State in the opening round of the Pac-12 Tournament on Thursday night.
When these two teams met last Sunday, Anigwe had 32 points and 30 rebounds — the first Division I player since 2002 to reach 30 in both categories in the same game. She single-handedly outrebounded the Cougars by eight that night as Cal won by 22.
Anigwe did her part for Cal (19-11) on Thursday despite facing constant double and triple teams. She recorded her 31st straight double-double, the longest in Pac-12 history.
Chanelle Molina helped Washington State (9-21) hang around for 25 minutes as the Cougars only trailed 36-34 at the break. She had 14 of her 24 points in the first half to offset Anigwe’s 17 points.
Cal, which will face Stanford in the quarterfinals Friday night, got going in the third quarter behind Recee Caldwell. She had eight of her 14 points in the period as Cal extended its advantage to 58-51. Anigwe broke Cal’s career blocks record when she recorded her 199th in the third quarter. She passed Charlotte Lusschen, who held the record of 198 since 1986. With her three blocks, Anigwe now has 200 in her career. The Bears put the game away early in the fourth quarter, scoring 13 of the first 14 points.
Washington 64, Utah 54: Missy Petersen scored 23 points, including six of eight from the three-point line, to lift the Huskies (10-20, 2-15) past the Utes (20-10, 9-9).
Schedule for the Pac-12 Conference women’s basketball tournament at MGM Arena in Las Vegas (championship game on ESPN2; all other games on Pac-12 Networks):
Game 5: No. 4 UCLA (19-11, 12-6) vs. No. 5 Arizona State, 11:30 a.m.
Game 6: No. 1 Oregon (27-3, 16-2) vs. No. 8 Arizona, 2 p.m.
Game 7: No. 2 Stanford (25-4, 15-3) vs. No. 7 California, 6 p.m.
Game 8: No. 3 Oregon State (24-6, 14-4) vs. No. 11 Washington, 8:30 p.m.
Game 9: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, 6 p.m.
Game 10: Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner, 8:30 p.m.
Game 11: Semifinal winners, 5 p.m.
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