Around the 520

Around The 520 – Your Weekly Wrap Up Of All Things Sports In Southern Arizona

University of Arizona Women’s Basketball

After taking down the then #4 team in the country, the Stanford Cardinal, Arizona dropped their last game of the regular season to California. The Bears, last place in the PAC-12, came to play and whether is was a hang over from Friday’s win over Stanford or taking Cal for granted, the Wildcats were not firing on all cylinders. The loss, on senior night in McKale, makes the chance at hosting a first and second round NCAA tournament game a little harder to achieve. Arizona must finish in the top 16 in the country to host. Arizona needs to win one game, possibly two during the PAC-12 Tournament to get the home court advantage in the NCAA Tournament. Adia Barnes and company are the 4th seed in the PAC-12 Tournament and have a bye on Thursday. They will have a rematch with Cal on Friday, March 8th. Cal defeated Arizona State on Thursday 71-67.


In The News

Arizona lands at #13 in the AP Top 25

The Wildcats finished second in the conference for attendance averaging 5,944 – Oregon was number one
PAC-12 announced their post season awards as voted by the coaches and Arizona is well represented.

Aari McDonald named Defensive Player of the Year and is named to the All Conference Team by coaches and media

Cate Reese named to the All Conference Team by coaches and media

Sam Thomas named to the All Defensive Team by coaches and media

Helena Pueyo named Honorable Mention All Freshman Team

Sam Thomas named Honorable Mention All Conference Team

Head Coach Adia Barnes was not chosen as coach of the year by her fellow coaches or the media. That award went to University of Oregon Head Coach Kelly Graves. Coach Barnes was runner up in the coaches vote.

National Honors:

Aari McDonald is one of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Women’s POY Award

Head Coach Adia Barnes is one of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Trophy Coach of the Year Award

*Photo Courtesy of Arizona Athletics


University of Arizona Men’s Basketball

With Josh Green sitting in Arizona with a lower back injury sustained in the Oregon game, the Wildcats hit the road to take on USC and UCLA. It was a road trip to forget for Arizona. In the USC game, Arizona was without Green (back) and Max Hazard (personal reasons). USC took advantage of the short handed Cats outplaying Arizona in all phases of the game. Arizona shot 28.1% from the field and 11.5% from three point range falling to USC 48-57. Zeke Nnaji put together another double double showing, his 13th on the season, grabbing 10 rebounds and scoring 15 points. This puts Nnaji in second place behind Deandre Ayton for double doubles recorded by an Arizona freshman.

Arizona had a better outing against UCLA, but wasn’t able to put the game away in the final minutes. Max Hazard was back and the team shot 44% from the field and 28% from three but turned the ball over 3 times in the final seconds which allowed UCLA to go ahead for good winning 69-64. The big story of the night was the ejection of head coach Sean Miller. Miller was called for a technical in the first half when Nico Mannion’s shot was blocked sending the freshman to the floor. Mannion landed hard hitting his head on the court. Miller was incensed that a foul was not called. Millers second technical came with 12:28 to play in the game when he approached a ref and yelled at him. Associate Head Coach Jack Murphy took over coaching the team for the rest of the game. Nico Mannion ended the night with 19 points and 6 assists.

Arizona is home for their last two games of the regular season agains Washington State (Thursday night) and Washington (Saturday). The Wildcats are fighting for the 4th seed in the PAC-12 tournament. A sweep of the Washington school should secure the 4th seed for the Cats.

In The News

Even with losing their last three games, the Wildcats are still a lock to appear in the NCAA tournament. At this point it’s the placement in seeding that is up in the air. Arizona is 11th in the latest NET rankings.

Sean Rooks will be will be inducted into the PAC-12 Hall of Honor. Rooks played for Arizona from 1989-1992 and was part of a team that had three PAC-10 regular season titles and two tournament championships. He was named PAC-10 MVP, PAC-10 All Conference and Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American his senior year. After he left Arizona, Rooks spent 12 years in the NBA followed by years as a coach both in America and overseas.

*Photo Courtesy of Arizona Athletics


University of Arizona Baseball

The Arizona Tournament was held at Hi Corbett Field from Friday February 27th through Sunday March 1st. Rhonde Island, Central Michigan and Arizona played a combined 5 games during the tournament.

The Wildcats, behind a stellar pitching performance from Garrett Irvin and Vince Vannelle, beat the Central Michigan Chippewas 5-1 in game 1 of the tournament on Friday night.  Tony Bullard went 1-for-3 with 3 RBIs. Branden Boissiere went 2-for-3 with 2 R and 1 RBI. Jacob Blas went 2-for-3 with 2 R and 1 BB. Blas also had a night on defense with 3 huge defensive plays.

Saturday’s match up with Rhode Island was the first time the two teams had faced each other. Arizona’s bats came alive and the Wildcats won 19-10. The Cats racked up 15 hits and 10 walks on the night. Ryan Holgate went 2-for-3 with 1 R, 1 2B, 5 RBIs and 2 BB. Ryan’s 5 RBIs ties his career high.Matthew Dyer went 2-for-4 with 2 R, 1 HR and 3 RBIs. Austin Wells went 3-for-5 with 3 R, 1 2B, 2 RBIs and 1 BB. Donta Williams went 2-for-4 with 4 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI and 2 BB. Mac Bingham went 1-for-3 with 2 R and 2 BB. Winning pitcher was Blake Peyton.

Rhode Island and Arizona had a noon shootout to close the tournament. The Wildcats fell to the Rams 15-11. Arizona led by one run headed into the 9th, but a six run 9th inning by Rhode Island sealed the win for the Ram’s. Austin Wells went 3-for-6 with 1 R, 1 2B and 2 RBIs. Matthew Dyer went 1-for-3 with 1 R, 3 RBIs and 2 BB. Donta Williams went 0-0 with 3 R, 1 RBI and 5 BB. The 5 walks set a career high for Donta.

Arizona hit the road Tuesday to face the Texas Longhorns for their first true road test of the season.  The two teams hadn’t met since March of 2005. Behind 4th inning home runs from Matthew Dyer and Branden Boissiere the Wildcats jumped out to an 8-0 lead. Arizona wouldn’t score the rest of the game, but the Wildcat pitchers and their defense held on to notch the win over Texas 8-6. Brandon Boissiere went 2-for-5 with 1 R, 1 HR and 3 RBIs. Matthew Dyer went 1-for-3 with 1 R, 1 HR, 4 RBIs and 1 BB. Donta Williams went 1-for-2 with 3 R and 1 BB. Austin Wells went 0-3 with 1 R and 2 BB. Pitchers were Vince Vannelle and Preston Price.

Next Up: 3 game series against the Houston Cougars March 6th- March 8th at Hi Corbett Field. First pitch is Friday night at 6 pm.

In The News:

Arizona has scored at least one run in 106 straight games. It hasn’t had a shutout loss since their 1-0 loss to Washington on March 17, 2018

Arizona pitcher Garrett Irvin has racked up 5 pick offs

520 Sports Talk will be covering Arizona baseball all season, so make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and our website for all of your baseball highlights.

*Photo Courtesy of Arizona Athletics


University of Arizona Softball

Arizona headed to Tuscaloosa, Alabama to compete in the Easton Crimson Classic against #8 Alabama, McNeese State and UT Arlington over the weekend.

The Wildcats started the tournament against McNeese State on Friday. Behind Jessie Harpers sixth home run of the season and Alyssa Denham’s strong pitching the Cats took game one 7-2. Harper had 2 hits and 3 RBIs. Malia Martinez had a pair of hits. Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza and Ivy Davis had one hit a piece.

Game two saw another stellar pitching performance by the Wildcats. This time it was Mariah Lopez who had nine strikeouts and one walk holding the Crimson Tide to one run. Arizona had five stolen bases during the game three coming in the 1st inning.  One run in the first came off of a double steal. The second score came in the seventh inning when Jenna Kean stole base to get into scoring position and plated the go ahead run. The two runs would be the only runs the Wildcats would score, but they were enough to take the win beating Alabama 2-1.

In game three it was a rematch with the Crimson Tide. Arizona held a one run lead going into the seventh inning when Alabama, with two outs, brought three runs across the plate to take a two run lead. The Wildcats were able to best Alabama at the two out game when freshman Sharlize Palacios hit a single. Marissa Schuld was up next and with the count 0-2 hit a single. With 2 on and 2 out Malia Martinez called game by hitting a home run that gave the Wildcats a 6-5 win.

McNeese State was the opponent in game four. Starting pitcher Mariah Lopez threw a two hit shutout with 10 strikeouts and the Wildcats were able to plate 2 runs to take the game with a 2-0 score. Arizona had a season high four doubles in the game.

In the final game of the tournament the Wildcats faced UT Arlington. Arizona was down 1-0 early in the game, but had four strong innings to beat UT Arlington 9-1 in six innings sweeping the Easton Crimson Classic. The victory came at a high cost for the Cats. In the second inning a  UT Arlington runner plowed into Arizona catcher Sharlize Palacios. The collision sent Palacios to the hospital. Palacios was later released from the hospital and traveled back to Tucson with the team. Further tests will be done when the team returns from the trip.

Next Up: The Wildcat Invitational. Boise State, Indiana, SIUE and South Dakota will be participating. The Invitational is Friday March 6th through Sunday March 8th.

In The News: 

Arizona is ranked #4 in the country

Mariah Lopez named PAC-12 Pitcher of the week


520 Sports Talk will be covering all UofA Softball games, so make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and our website for all of the latest on Arizona Softball.

*Photo Courtesy of Arizona Athletics


Pima Women’s Basketball


The #2 seeded Aztecs are headed to the NJCAA Region l, Division ll finals for the 11th time in 12 years beating #3 seeded South Mountain Community College 77-65.

In a game that saw 9 lead changes and six ties, Pima kept grinding and finally pulled away in the fourth quarter. Freshman Sierra Mich’l accumulated 17 points, 9 rebounds (six on offense) and four blocks in the second half. Sophomore Hallie Lawson scored 18 points and snagged 8 rebounds. Fama Thiam added 11 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists. Sophomore Marlena Arroyo-Plata pulled in a double double with 10 points and 13 rebounds while her sophomore teammate Alyssa Perez added 10 points with seven rebounds.

Next Up: NJCAA Region l, Division ll finals against #1 seeded Mesa Community College. Saturday, March 7 at Mesa CC. Tip off at 7 pm.

*Photo Courtesy of Pima Athletics


Pima Men’s Basketball

The #4 seeded Aztecs upset the #1 seeded Scottsdale Community College Artichokes 71-69 and will be heading to the NJCAA Region l, Division l finals. Pima was in this one from the beginning. The Aztecs lead at the half by one point 38-37 and went up by 12 in the early part of the second half. With 2:22 left in the game, the Artichokes took the lead. At the 35.6 second mark freshman Sammy Legleu grabbed the defensive rebound and sophomore Rashad Smith drove to the basket hitting a runner and was fouled. With 9.1 seconds left Smith hit the and 1 giving the Aztecs a 2 point lead. Scottsdale CC tried to get a 3 to go, but it hit the rim and the Aztec men completed the upset.

Rashad Smith had 19 points, Jake Lieppert and Sammy Legleu added 17 points each, Cole Gerken and Jordan Robinson each ended the game with 9 points each.

Next Up: NJCAA Region l, Division l Finals against #2 seeded Glendale Community College. Game will be held at Glendale CC on Friday, March 6th, tipoff at 7:30 pm.

*Photo Courtesy of Pima Athletics


Pima Baseball

The Aztecs hit the road to Central Arizona College to take on the #16 Vaqueros. Pima won the first game of the two game series behind strong pitching by sophomore Jimmy Gamboa. Pima scored one run in the first two inning and 2 runs in the 4th and then held off a late rally by Central Arizona College in the 6th to get the W 4-3.

In game two the two teams were tied after 4 inning. In the 9th inning the Vaqueros hit a walk-off RBI single to win the game 5-4.

Next Up: The Aztecs will travel to Yavapai College on Saturday, March 7th for a two game series. First pitch is scheduled for 12:00 pm.

*Photo Courtesy of Pima Athletics


Pima Softball

The Aztecs took their bats on the road to Scottsdale Community College March 3rd and came home with 2 run rule wins making that 6 run rule wins on the season. Freshman Anisah Triste went 5-of-8 with 8 RBIs, 6 runs scored and 2 homeruns (including a grand slam). Freshman Mariah Bartlett hit 2 home runs and finished 6-for-7 with 4 RBIs and 5 runs scored. Sophomore Amaya Turner-Vizcarra went 4-for-6 with 4 RBIs, 6 runs scored and 3 walks. Freshman pitchter Jazmin Ayala earned both wins.

First game: Aztecs 15 – Scottsdale CC 2 (5 innings)

Second game: Aztecs 5 – Scottsdale CC 2

In The News:

Lesly Cazares – Infield –  earned ACCAC Division l Player of the Week

Anisah Triste earned ACCAC Division l Pitcher of the Week

Next Up: Pima will host Central Arizona College for a 2 game series Thursday, March 5th. First pitch 12:00 pm

*Photo Courtesy of Pima Athletics


Arizona Tennis


The Wildcat women went 4-0 in their matches against San Francisco and  Montana. They didn’t drop a a set all weekend.

Sophomore Kirsten Prelle grabbed the win from the #4 player in the country, Emily Maxfield with a score of 6-0, 6-0.

Next Up: University of the Pacific on Friday, March 6th at 11 am.


The Saguaro Soldiers finished the first day of the Blue/Gray Classic leading #48 Alabama 1-0. The second day wasn’t as successful. The Wildcats fell to to the Crimson Tide 4-2 and then lost to #28 Princeton in the 3rd place match 4-0. The bright spot of the Classic was #64 Jonas Ziverts defeating #80 Ortiz 6-3 and 6-2.

Next Up: Fresno State on Monday, March 9th






*Photo Courtesy of Arizona Athletics


Arizona Golf


Arizona competed in the Hurricane Invitational in Coral Gables, Florida and came home with a second place trophy. The Wildcats tied for second place with TCU shooting 16-over par for the tournament and finished 6 shots behind winner Maryland. Vivian Hou finished tied for 3rd and Yu-Sang Hou tied for 12th.

Next Up: The Arizona Wildcat Invitational on Monday, March 9th.



The Wildcat Men headed to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico to compete in the Cabo Collegiate. Arizona finished 4th at 4 under par 15 strokes behind winner Arizona State. Trevor Werbylo finished tied for 7th at 4 under par for the tournament. David Laskin completed the tournament tied for 14th.

Next Up: The Lamkin Grips San Diego Classic in San Diego, California on March 9th.

*Photo Courtesy of Arizona Athletics


Arizona Beach Volleyball

The Beach Cats are on a 7 game winning streak after defeating Stephen F. Austin 5-0. This is the first time since 2015 that Arizona has started season 7-0. Pairs, Anselmo/Lowry (7-0), Blacker/Parkhurst (6-0) and Baham/Hess (6-0) all remain undefeated.

Next Up: TCU Fight In The Fort in Fort Worth, TX on March 6th

*Photo Curtesy of Arizona Athletics


High School Sports

Girls Soccer

Ironwood Ridge -The 10th seeded Ironwood Ridge Nighthawks defeated #6 Desert View to head to the 5A State Championship game against #1 Casteel. The Nighthawks ran into the team with speed and were defeated 3-0. Casteel won their second State Championship in three years. Finishing second to the #1 seed as a #10 seed was pretty impressive. Ironwood Ridge should be back to compete next year with many returning players for the 2020-2021 season.

Catalina Foothills – #3 Flagstaff fended off 24 shots on goal to defeat #4 Catalina Foothills in the 4A State Championship game. This game came down to overtime with Flagstaff goalie Lianna Albert blocked two shots from the mark giving Flagstaff the 4-2 victory on PKs.

Boys Soccer

Sunnyside went into the state championship game as the #1 seed. The Blue Devils were 11-1 during the regular season and were definitely the team to beat. Carl Hayden beat Ironwood 1-0 with the only goal being scored at the 95 minute mark in OT #2. The championship game was all Carl Hayden with the Falcons defeating the Blue Devils 3-0 to take home the trophy.

Girls Basketball

In the 3A state championship game, #1 Sabino faced #2 Page. Sabino coming off of last years ban from post game play due to AIA violations were on a quest to show they belonged in the top of their division. In a hard fought back and forth game, the Sabercats took home the trophy in a 42-35 win.

Sahuaro’s Alyssa Brown named MaxPreps Arizona Player of the Year and All State First Team

Sabino’s Kiya Dorroh named to the All State First Team


Boys Basketball

Salpointe Catholic faced #1 seed Peoria in the 4A state championship game at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. The Lancers hung tough in a game that saw 11 lead changes during regulation. After Peoria scored on a second chance bucket to tie the game and send it into overtime, Salpointe kept Peoria scoreless and won the schools first ever state championship 54-48.

* Photo Curtesy of the Arizona Daily Star


If you have sporting news that you would like to see featured in our Around The 520 Weekly Wrap Up, please send it to us at [email protected]. We love to highlight our Southern Arizona teams and their successes.

Lori Burkhart
520 Sports Talk

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