TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Aari McDonald scored 20 points, Cate Reese added a double-double and No. 18 Arizona opened Pac-12 play on Sunday with a 58-53 win over rival Arizona State.
Sam Thomas had four free throws in the final 36.6 seconds after the Sun Devils cut a nine-point deficit to one on Iris Mbulito's layup with 1:06 remaining.
After Thomas' first two free throws she blocked a 3-point attempt and made 1 of 2 from the line with 22 seconds to go. Mbulito was fouled on the rebound but missed two free throws and Thomas capped the scoring by making 1 of 2 with 14.4 seconds to play.
Reese had 17 points and 10 rebounds as the Wildcats (12-0), who won the postseason WNIT last year, extended their best-start ever and ran their winning streak to 18.
Eboni Walker led the Sun Devils (10-3), who had won six straight, with 12 points and Jamie Ruden had 10.
However, Arizona State only shot 30% against the nation's leading defense in shooting percentage (29%) and points per game (43.6). The Sun Devils, who only allow 54 points a game, were just the fourth team to reach 50 on the Wildcats.