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WOMEN: Wildcats want to pack McKale for historic meeting with Sun Devils

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TUCSON - The last time Arizona swept Arizona State in women's basketball the names were Felcity Willis, Reshea Bristol and Tatum Brown leading the ladies of Tucson.

WILDCATS PREVIEW ASU GAME

The Wildcats were on their way to a 25-7 season and a second round game in the NCAA Tournament.

It was the glory years of a rivalry that has been admittedly one-sided in favor of the women from Tempe.

When the Wildcats bussed up I-10 and beat the Sun Devils 72-61 on February 26, 2000 it was their 14th consecutive win in the series. It was a run that featured the greatest scorer the program had ever seen, a forward named Adia Barnes.

The fabled Arizona Wildcats' football players of the 1980s talk about The Streak, but Barnes in four seasons also never lost to the "school up north".

If we only knew then what we know now.

Aari McDonald will try and lead the Arizona Wildcats to their first sweep of the rival Arizona State Sun Devils since the 1999-2000 season (Photo courtesy: Simon Asher/Arizona Athletics)

The series would begin to shift starting in 2000-2001. ASU would win 32 of the next 41 meetings.

The then-18th ranked Wildcats finally broke through late last year and won (58-53) their first game at Desert Financial Arena since that fabled February day just after the turn of the century.

And now with Barnes as their head coach, the Cats tonight have a chance to solidify their arrival back on to the NCAA Women's Basketball lexicon.

No. 18 UArizona will host 16th ranked Arizona State in the first-ever meeting between the rivals as ranked teams. Tipoff at McKale Center is 6 p.m.

Copyright 2020 News 4 Tucson. All rights reserved.

David Kelly

David Kelly is the weekend sports anchor at KVOA in Tucson. He is a 28-year veteran of the sports broadcast business.

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