WOMEN: Arizona gets past Auburn in women’s tourney First Four

Wildcats beat Tigers 69-59 thanks to stifling defense

HIGHLIGHTS: Arizona 69, Auburn 59

STORRS (CT) — Freshman Jada Williams scored 17 points as Arizona beat Auburn 69-59 on Thursday in a Women’s NCAA Tournament First Four game at Storrs, Conn.

Arizona (18-15) advances as a No. 11 seed to meet No. 6 seed Syracuse on Saturday afternoon in Storrs.

The Wildcats never trailed and held an eight-point halftime lead as they won for the sixth time in nine games.

Helena Pueyo totaled 16 points, four assists and three assists for Arizona, while Esmery Martinez had 14 points, seven rebounds and five steals. Skylar Jones scored 13.

Honesty Scott-Grayson had 13 points, four rebounds and three steals for Auburn (20-12).

The teams notched 13 steals apiece.

Arizona Postgame Download: Cats react to their victory over Auburn

In the first quarter, Arizona built an 8-2 lead but went scoreless more than four minutes to allow Auburn to get back in it 10-8 on consecutive layups by Yakiya Milton sandwiching a Jones basket.

Ahead 11-8 after 10 minutes, the Wildcats pushed it to 20-10 with 6:13 left in the second quarter on a Pueyo jump shot.

Arizona held a 27-19 halftime lead after creating 11 steals and forging a 14-7 edge in points off turnovers as both squads shot below 40 percent from the field.

The Wildcats turned it on with a 13-4 run in the first five minutes of the third quarter as Martinez scored five points, but Auburn’s 8-0 stretch cut it to 40-31.

A Milton jumper with 2:25 to go and a Mar’shaun Bostic layup with 1:57 left got the Wildcats within five, but Auburn never got closer.

–Field Level Media