Wildcats get their head in the game in comfortable win

THE ARIZONA Wildcats were boosted by a balanced contribution on the offensive end as they cruised to a 80-67 win over the Arizona State Sun Devils in the NCAAW on Sunday.

The 19th-seeded Wildcats were widely expected to claim the win against the unseeded Sun Devils, and broke away in the second quarter to take a 12-point lead into the main change. Although Arizona State managed to almost equal the offensive production in the final two quarters, the deficit was too much as the favourites got the job done.

The Wildcats had five players score 11 or more points over the course of the match, which was a massive reason why they were able to get the win. Madison Conner led all comers with a team-high 16 points (5/12 FG, 4/4 FT) off the bench in just 20 minutes of play, while Esmery Martinez (13 points, 15 rebounds), Shania Pellington (13 points, 5/9 FG), Kailyn Gilbert (12 points) and Jade Loville (11 points) all played vital roles in scoring the rock.

While the Sun Devils could not get the job done, the efforts of Treasure Hunt and Jaddan Simmons cannot be understated. Hunt top-scored for the match with 24 points, largely thanks to her impressive trait of drawing contact, nailing nine of her 10 attempts from the free throw line. Something similar can be said for Simmons, who was not far behind with 19 points, shooting 11/14 from the charity stripe.

Arizona Wildcats (80) def. Arizona Sun Devils (67)

Arizona started the match in strong fashion as expected, jumping out to a small but solid lead in the first quarter. The Sun Devils were hanging in there on the back of some late buckets but trailed by four points at quarter time. Although it was still striking distance for the underdogs, those chances slimmed in the second quarter when the Wildcats really started to motor past the opposition on the scoreboard. With some seriously impressive ball movement and plenty of contributors, Arizona outscored the opposition 23-15 and took a double-digit lead into half time, fully in control of the match.

The Sun Devils lifted in the second half offensively, clearly coming out of the main break with instructions to attack the paint and score inside. Hunt and Simmons went to work inside and worked their way to the free throw line, where their work was able to match the Wildcats’ down the other end. However, Arizona State’s defence did not lift enough, and the match was just about wrapped early in the final quarter.

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