The Washington State University Cougar men's hoop team came into their game with Arizona knowing they needed to win to enhance their slim NCAA tournament chances but instead, the Wildcats defeated the Cougars, 79-70 in Tucson. With the loss, the Cougars drop to 7-7 in conference play and 17-9 overall.
Wazzu came out strong in the game's first two minutes, taking a quick 4-2 lead on buckets from junior forward DeAngelo Casto and sophomore Brock Motum, but Arizona went on a 11-0 run to open a 13-4 lead. From that point on in the first half, the Cougars were never able to get closer than five points to the Wildcats. Junior guard Klay Thompson hit a trey to close the gap to 22-17 and sophomore point guard Reggie Moore hit a pair of free throws to make it 24-19 in favor of Arizona, but the Wildcats went into the locker room with a 41-33 advantage.
The Cougars were scoreless for the first 3:31 of the half as Arizona opened up a 17-point lead. But Wazzu fought back as Thompson got hot from the field and almost single-handedly brought Wazzu back to being down only eight points at 56-48 after Thompson buried a three-ball. Arizona did not falter though and held off the Cougars' numerous comeback attempts, keeping at least a five-point margin the rest of the way.
Thompson led the Cougars in scoring with 30 points while Casto tossed in 14 points and Moore added 10 points.
- Arizona hit 24 of 26 free throws but Wazzu holds the Pac-10 conference record - making all 28 of their free throws against Oregon on January 17, 2009.
Washington State University continues their Pac-10 season with a game against Arizona State at 11AM on Saturday, February 19, in Tempe.
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