McDonald scores 30, No. 7 Arizona Beats USC 78-77
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Aari McDonald scored 30 points and Cate Reese added 25, helping No. 7 Arizona outlast Southern California 78-77 on Sunday.
The Wildcats (3-0, 2-0 Pac-12) picked up their first marquee win of the season on Friday, beating No. 9 UCLA for their third win in the past four games against top-10 teams. Arizona found itself in another tight game against the Trojans (1-2, 0-2) and fell into an 11-point hole early in the third quarter.
McDonald and Reese keyed a 22-3 run that carried into the fourth quarter and Arizona stretched the lead to 77-72 late. USC's Madison Campbell hit a 3-pointer with 18 seconds left to pull the Trojans within two.
Reese made 1 of 2 free throws and Endyia Rogers made two to cut it 78-77 with 5 seconds left, but the Trojans couldn't get the ball back.
Endyia and Angel Jackson led USC with 18 points each.
Sunday's game started off as an offensive duel, the teams combining to make 17 of 31 shots in a tight first quarter.
The shooting pace slowed slightly in the second half, but it remained close. USC spread the scoring around and made 15 of 29 shots in the first half to lead 37-34. McDonald carried the load for Arizona, scoring 12 points on 6-of-12 shooting.
USC continued the torrid shooting pace, making four of its first eight shots to stretch the lead to 53-42. McDonald and Reese answered, combining for 11 straight points to tie the game at 53-all. Arizona closed the third quarter on an 18-3 run to lead 60-56.
Arizona went up 77-72 on two free throws by Reese with 22 seconds left and held on after Campbell's 3 cut it to two.
- Arizona erased an 11-point USC lead in the third quarter in 4:14 as Lauren Ware made a lay-up to give the Cats a 57-56 lead.
- Aari McDonald finished Sunday's matinee with 30 points, which gave the senior 10th game of 30 or more points in her Wildcat career. She also nearly doubled her season high of 18 from her first two games of the season.
- Freshman Lauren Ware finished the game with 12 points and 12 rebounds for her first career double-double in her third collegiate game. Ware had totaled 12 points and 10 rebounds in her first two games of the season combined.
- With Sunday's win over USC, Arizona completed the weekend sweep of the Los Angeles schools for a second consecutive time. The Wildcats have not posted four consecutive wins against USC and UCLA since the 2000-01 and 2001-02 seasons. The only other time the Wildcats accomplished this feat was when the program won six straight games against the Los Angeles schools in the 1996-97 and 1997-98 seasons.
- Both teams ended the first quarter on a tear, combining to make 10 of the last 13 shots from the field to end the quarter.
- Arizona scored 19 points in the first quarter on nine of 17 (52.9 percent) shooting from the field. Those scoring and shooting marks were season bests for a first quarter following Arizona's games against NAU and UCLA.
- Arizona only attempted three shots from the arc in the first half and 26 from inside.
- Senior Aari McDonald extended her consecutive double-digit scoring streak to an NCAA-leading 69 games with 12 points in the first half against the Trojans.