BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Aari McDonald scored 28 points and No. 10 Arizona had to earn a hard-fought victory against California this time on the way to its seventh straight win, beating the winless Golden Bears 59-50 on Friday.
The Wildcats (15-2, 13-2 Pac-12) had beaten Cal 69-33 in Tucson on Jan. 3 — the fewest points Arizona has ever allowed to a Pac-12 opponent — but were beaten to the boards regularly Friday as the Bears stayed in the game with effort and energy on the little things.
McDonald shot 11 for 23 in Arizona’s fourth straight win since four consecutive games were postponed. Arizona closed on a 6-0 run as Cal went cold, finishing 1 for 10 without scoring over the final 2:21.
The Bears have had nine games postponed and this was their first contest since Feb. 7 after missing last weekend’s scheduled trip to face the Oregon schools.
Evelien Lutje Schipholt's layin with 2:13 left in the third briefly put Cal ahead 38-36 — a stretch of six straight made baskets by the Bears to end the third tied at 43. They made seven straight spanning the quarters.
Dalayah Daniels scored 24 points on 9-for-13 shooting to go with 10 rebounds leading scrappy Cal (0-14, 0-11), which has just eight healthy scholarship players and former walk-on and lone senior Archer Olson adding experience in the starting lineup. Three potential starting guards were lost to season-ending injuries.
Michelle Onyiah added 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Bears, who outrebounded the Wildcats 40-26 for the game. But Arizona scored 21 points off 18 Cal turnovers while committing only six of its own.
Arizona: The Wildcats weren't as accurate from long range coming off a school-record for three-point field-goal percentage of 75% — 12 for 16 — in a 75-53 win against Washington last Sunday. ... Arizona has won 13 of its initial 15 conference games for the first time in school history.
California: Olson, a 6-foot guard, will be honored on senior day before Sunday's final home game at Haas Pavilion. She is a former walk-on who earned a scholarship. ... The Bears shot 5 for 11 in the first quarter and held a 9-8 edge on the boards to stay within 18-13.
Arizona: At No. 6 Stanford on Monday night.
California: Hosts Colorado on Sunday in the team's final home game.
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