Aari McDonald scored 24 points, her 50th consecutive double-figure game, and Cate Reese posted her fifth double-double this season as the No. 18 Arizona women’s basketball team held off USC 65-57 on Friday night at Galen Center to remain undefeated.
The Wildcats are 13-0 (2-0 Pac-12 Conference) for the first time in program history and also extended their winning streak to 19, dating to last season, the longest active streak in the nation. Arizona visits UCLA — which also is 13-0 overall and 2-0 in the Pac-12 — in a showdown Sunday.
The Trojans were within three points with just less than two minutes left Friday but didn’t score again as McDonald added three free throws and Helena Pueyo, who finished with 11 points, sank two more for the final margin. Reese had 17 points and 11 rebounds, and Semaj Smith grabbed 12 rebounds to go with her eight points. The Wildcats were 16 of 17 at the line compared with six-for-seven shooting for USC.
Aliyah Jeune scored 17 points, Angel Jackson added 16 points, and Endyia Rogers had 14 points with eight rebounds for the Trojans (8-5, 0-2).
Arizona scored the final six points of the first half to go ahead 33-32 and clung to the lead in the second half, with McDonald and Reese scoring six points each in the third quarter to give the Wildcats an eight-point cushion heading into the final period.
Arizona announced Wednesday that senior forward Tee Tee Starks was to have surgery on her left shoulder and is out for the season. A part-time starter during her career, Starks had not played this season because of the injury suffered last season.