No. 6 women’s basketball readies for duel with No. 10 Arizona

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Coming off of a blowout victory against Arizona State on Friday, No. 6 Stanford women’s basketball (20-2, 17-2 Pac-12) will take on No. 10 Arizona (15-2, 13-2 Pac-12) in a decisive Pac-12 showdown Monday. With Stanford and Arizona both entering the contest on sizable winning streaks, Monday’s game will be a can’t-miss event. 

When the two teams faced off on Jan. 1 at the McKale Center, the then-undefeated Cardinal rolled to a 81-54 win over the Wildcats. In that win, Stanford built a convincing 24-point lead by halftime and never let up. The Cardinal were carried by the stellar play of sophomore forward Haley Jones, who tallied 18 points and was a perfect 10-10 from the free throw line.

Since that January matchup, Arizona has actually posted a better record in conference than Stanford. The Cardinal dropped back-to-back games against Colorado and UCLA later in the month, while Arizona’s lone loss came against Washington State on Jan. 10. As a result, Arizona sits right behind Stanford in the Pac-12 standings, and Monday’s game will likely determine the No. 1 seed heading into the conference tournament.

During Stanford’s recent nine-game winning streak, defense has been the key. The Cardinal have allowed its opponents just 51 points per game during this stretch. Cameron Brink, a 6-foot-4 freshman forward, has been a monster in the paint, averaging 2.5 blocks per game, while junior guard Lexie Hull has averaged nearly two steals per contest. This defensive combo, with the help of starting guards senior Kiana Williams and fifth year Anna Wilson, kept Arizona State scoreless for the first seven minutes on Friday. The Cardinal will look to maintain this defensive mentality against the Wildcats on Monday.

The Wildcats are led by the duo of senior guard Aari McDonald and junior forward Kate Reese. McDonald is fresh off a 28-point performance against Cal on Friday and is hungry for a rematch against Stanford. Speaking about the game against Stanford earlier this year to the Pac-12 Network, McDonald said, “We haven’t forgotten. I didn’t sleep after that loss, so you know I got something up my sleeve.” 

Monday’s game will tip off at 6:00 p.m. PT from Maples Pavilion.

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Gavin McDonell is a staff writer in the sports section. He is a freshman from San Francisco, California who is considering a major in Management Science and Engineering or Mathematics. His rooting interests include the San Francisco Giants, the Golden State Warriors, Max Homa and of course, the Stanford Cardinal. Contact him at gmcdonell 'at' stanforddaily.com.