SAN ANTONIO, Tex. (KGUN) — Arizona Women's Basketball lost to the Stanford Cardinal, 54-53, on Sunday in the NCAA National Championship.
The game was held at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, in front of six thousand socially distanced fans.
The Wildcats were led by 22 points from Aari McDonald in a losing effort. However, McDonald missed a potential game winning shot in the final seconds.
"I knew there was six point one seconds left," said McDonald. "I got denied, hard. I tried to turn the corner. They sent three players at me. I took a tough, contested shot, but, I mean, it didn't fall."
"It doesn't ever come down to the last shot," said head coach Adia Barnes. "It comes down to the missed free throws down the stretch. It comes down to the foul on the three point shot. It comes down to getting the turnovers and not converting. So, its those things. It's never the last play. But, it obviously just stings pretty badly."
"I will remember most, this ride," said McDonald. "We had a great run in the NCAA Tournament. We accomplished a lot that many didn't think we could do. It was tough, but I'm very proud of my teammates."
Arizona finishes its historic season with a 21-6 record after having made its first ever trip to the national championship. The program won just six games three years ago.
Mayor Regina Romero released this statement congratulating the team on their season and their return for Monday:
“Congratulation’s to Coach Barnes and the entire Arizona Women’s Basketball team for their historic run at this year’s NCAA tournament. Tucson could not be more proud of you!” said Mayor Romero. “We are working with President Robbins, the University of Arizona, Tucson International Airport, Tucson Police Department, and Tucson Fire Department to give the Arizona Women’s Basketball team the SHEro’s welcome they deserve. Thank you to President Robbins, UArizona Athletic’s Department, Chief Magnus, Chief Ryan, and everyone who is leading this effort to welcome our Lady Cats back to Tucson.” The Tucson Police Department will be escorting the team bus from the Airport to the University of Arizona stadium where there will be an official “Welcome Home, Cats” celebration being organized by the University of Arizona. The escort route will be announced shortly. Trucks from the Tucson Fire Department will be traveling in the procession from the airport to the stadium.