TUCSON, Ariz. (AP)Esmery Martinez finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds to power No. 18 Arizona to an 84-66 victory over Arizona State in a Pac-12 Conference opener on Thursday night.
Martinez sank 9 of 14 shots from the floor to help the Wildcats (11-1) shoot 55.4% overall. It was her fourth double-double of the season. Shaina Pellington added 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting. Cate Reese finished with 13 points, while Jade Loville scored 12.
Tyi Skinner made 10 of 21 shots with five 3-pointers, scoring 26 for the Sun Devils (7-5). Treasure Hunt pitched in with 13 points and six rebounds. Meg Newman had 10 points and a team-high nine rebounds off the bench.
Martinez, Loville and Lauren Fields scored baskets in a game-opening 6-0 run and the Wildcats never trailed. Arizona made 12 of 19 shots (63.2%) in taking a 26-12 lead after one quarter. Skinner scored nine in the second quarter but Arizona State whittled only two points off the lead and trailed 42-30 at intermission.
Martinez scored nine of the Wildcats’ 30 points in the third quarter and Arizona headed to the final period with a 72-46 lead.
Arizona has won four straight since suffering its only loss – 77-50 to Kansas. Arizona State has dropped four of five after opening the season with five straight wins.
Arizona travels to play California on Saturday. The Wildcats stay on the road to play No. 2 Stanford on Monday.
Arizona State travels to play the second-ranked Cardinal on Saturday before a Monday match-up at Cal.
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