Arizona falls to Stanford in team’s first ever NCAA Tournament title game

Apr 4, 2021, 5:11 PM | Updated: 7:06 pm

The Arizona Wildcats fell to the Stanford Cardinal 54-53 in the team’s first ever trip to the NCAA Tournament title game.

Down Arizona by one with six seconds left, Stanford defenders swarmed on Aari McDonald, who heaved a three-pointer at the buzzer that failed to go in.

From the outset, Stanford kept Arizona’s offense in check, specifically targeting McDonald, the Pac-12 player of the year and Arizona’s leading scorer. McDonald totaled five points in the first half and shot 5-of-21 from the field through all four quarters.

The senior standout finished the game with 22 points, 2 assists and 3 rebounds.

Arizona shot just 17-of-60 from the field over the course of the game, however, they kept themselves in the game by forcing a total of 21 turnovers.

The Wildcats’ ended the first quarter in the hole 16-8, but their stagnant offense came alive in the second quarter, at one point shrinking the Cardinal lead to one on a three-pointer by Helena Pueyo. A few minutes later, Arizona took its first and only lead of the game after Shaina Pellington made a layup.

Arizona never returned to the large first quarter deficit again, and kept close throughout the third quarter, leaving Stanford only a three-point lead going into the fourth.

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