No. 6 Arizona women beat North Dakota State 59-47

Dec 9, 2021, 5:35 AM | Updated: 8:19 pm

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Arizona went nearly two weeks between games, and the rust was evident for a good portion of its return to the court.

The sixth-ranked Wildcats got a season-high 16 points from Shaina Pellington, 13 apiece from Ariyah Copeland and Cate Reese, and overcame the loss of starting forward Lauren Ware to an injury to beat North Dakota State 59-47 on Thursday night.

Arizona is 8-0 for the fifth time in school history and second time in three seasons but looked like a team playing its first game in 12 days. The Wildcats shot 34.9%, their worst rate in six games, and were 3 of 17 from 3-point range.

“Not the prettiest win, but a win’s a win at this time of year,” coach Adia Barnes said. “I’m just happy we won.”

Pellington added four rebounds, three assists and four of Arizona’s 16 steals, while Copeland and Reese combined for 24 shots to make up for Ware’s absence.

Ware, a 6-foot-3 sophomore who was averaging 8.3 points and 5.4 rebounds per game, crumpled to the floor under Arizona’s basket 33 seconds into the game, clutching her right knee and screaming in pain. She was helped off the court and into the locker room, returning to the bench just before halftime on crutches, her right leg wrapped and in a brace.

Barnes said Ware dislocated the knee but medical staff was able to pop it back into place. An MRI is scheduled for Friday and Ware is expected to miss a week or two.

“I’m just so happy it’s nothing bad,” Barnes said.

Ware missed her senior year of high school after suffering a torn ACL in her left knee.

Copeland and Reece helped Arizona dominate NDSU (4-6) in the paint, outscoring it 34-12, and converted 25 Bison turnovers into 27 points.

Heaven Hamling scored 14 points for the Bison, who shot 35.4%.

The Bison went on a 9-0 run to open the fourth quarter as Reneya Hopkins made two free throws to cut the deficit to 47-42 with 6:46 left. Arizona scored the next six, including back-to-back baskets by Pellington off steals to extend the lead to 11.

“We just tried to keep our composure just as best as we could,” Pellington said. “We just went back to what we know how to do.”

Arizona led 31-21 at halftime and back-to-back transition layups by Reese extended the Wildcats’ advantage to 40-26 with 4:16 left in the third quarter.


North Dakota State: The Bison were picked to finish third in the Summit League, their highest preseason ranking since 2009-10. They’re seeking their first NCAA Tournament appearance since moving up to Division I in 2007.

Arizona: The Wildcats are now in a stretch of four games in 11 days before jumping into the Pac-12 schedule. Before league play begins they will have competed in South Dakota, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Las Vegas.


North Dakota State: Continues a two-game trip with a visit to Wyoming on Sunday.

Arizona: Hosts New Mexico on Sunday, its last home game of 2021.


More AP women’s college basketball: and and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


San Diego Padres relief pitcher Nick Martinez reacts during the sixth inning of the tema's baseball...
Associated Press

Padres beat Dodgers 4-3 in 10 to reduce magic number to 4

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Jorge Alfaro drew a bases-loaded walk from Craig Kimbrel with two outs in the 10th inning and the San Diego Padres beat the NL West champion Los Angeles Dodgers 4-3 on Tuesday night to reduce their magic number for clinching a wild-card berth to four. The Padres started the winning rally […]
23 hours ago
Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Robbie Raywals walks through the dugout after he was pulled from ...
Associated Press

Mariners’ late slide continues with 5-0 loss to Rangers

SEATTLE (AP) — Robbie Ray has an idea for how to get the Seattle Mariners refocused and hopefully out of their late-season slide. Stop worrying about what is happening elsewhere. “For me, we’ve just got to stop looking at the scoreboard. If it was my choice, we turn that thing off. Because we need to […]
23 hours ago
Los Angeles Angels' Matt Duffy (5) scores ahead of a throw to Oakland Athletics catcher Sean Murphy...
Associated Press

Jo Adell’s 8th-inning RBI sends Angels past Athletics, 4-3

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Jo Adell drove in Matt Duffy with a tiebreaking RBI single in the eighth inning, Shohei Ohtani extended his hitting streak to a career-best 12 games, and the Los Angeles Angels opened their final homestand of the season with a 4-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night. A.J. Puk […]
23 hours ago
San Francisco Giants' Logan Webb pitches to a Colorado Rockies batter during the first inning of a ...
Associated Press

Logan Webb strikes out seven as Giants beat Rockies again

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Joc Pederson won a World Series championship last season with the Atlanta Braves and expected to compete for one this season in San Francisco, only to be out of it in September instead. Logan Webb struck out seven over five innings to win for the fourth time in five starts, and […]
23 hours ago
Houston Astros third base coach Gary Pettis (8) low fives Jose Altuve, right, as he rounds third ba...
Associated Press

Altuve homers twice as Astros rout Diamondbacks 10-2

HOUSTON (AP) — Jose Altuve hit two of Houston’s five home runs to lead the Astros to a 10-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night in a game where Yordan Alvarez left with an ankle injury. The Astros, who have already won the American League West title, moved within one win or one […]
23 hours ago
Argentina soccer coach Lionel Scaloni, left, talks to his staff as his players warm up during pract...
Associated Press

Scaloni to remain as Argentina coach through 2026 World Cup

HARRISON, N,J. (AP) — Lionel Scaloni will remain as Argentina’s national team coach through the 2026 World Cup. Chiqui Tapia, president of the Argentine Football Association, made the announcement after Tuesday night’s 3-0 win over Jamaica in the Albiceleste’s next-to-last tuneup match for this year’s World Cup. “We continue to bet on the comprehensive national […]
23 hours ago
No. 6 Arizona women beat North Dakota State 59-47