Aari McDonald, Arizona fall short in national championship game

Sports

Arizona guard Aari McDonald, left, lies on the court after missing a shot at the end of the championship game against Stanford in the women’s Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament, Sunday, April 4, 2021, at the Alamodome in San Antonio. Stanford won 54-53. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

SAN ANTONIO (KSEE/KGPE) – One way or another, this was a season to remember for Aari McDonald and the Arizona Wildcats. But they are leaving San Antonio without a national championship.

McDonald, who scored a game-high 22 points, missed a contested shot from the top of the key at the buzzer that would have won the game for Arizona. Instead, Stanford celebrated its first national championship since 1992, winning, 54-53.

McDonald is a native of Fresno who has been the talk of the NCAA Tournament. The former Bullard High School star scored 30 points in back-to-back games (the Sweet 16 and the Elite Eight), in leading Arizona to its first-ever Final Four appearance.

Then the Wildcats upset No. 1 UConn in the national semifinals on Friday to reach their first-ever national championship game.

McDonald struggled offensively against Stanford, only making five of her 20 shots. She scored more than one third of her points at the free throw line (8-12).

Arizona (21-6) finishes the season having won five of its last six games.

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