The Washington State University Cougar men's hoop team built a 12-point first half lead only to allow Arizona to whittle it away as the Wildcats came back for a 65-63 win at Beasley Coliseum in Pullman. With the loss, the Cougars drop to 4-4 in conference play and 14-6 overall and now face an uphill battle for a potential NCAA tournament berth.
Wazzu jumped all over the Wildcats in the first half, jumping out to a 10-2 lead which they then built up to 16-5 and finally 22-10 - their largest lead of the game. But the Wildcats responded with a 12-2 run that cut the Cougars lead to 24-22 with 3:02 remaining in the half and despite Wazzu building the lead back up to six at 28-22 after a bucket by junior Faisal Aden, Arizona was still able to wrest the lead away from the Cougars at halftime, going into the locker room with a slim 32-31 advantage.
DeAngelo Casto has been on fire of late and the junior forward continued to have success in this game. Casto opened up the Cougars' second half scoring with a bucket that gave Wazzu a 33-32 lead which they eventually built out to an eight point margin at 45-37 when junior Marcus Capers slammed home a dunk with 11:53 remaining in the game. But Arizona once again came storming back with a 7-0 run to cut the lead to a single point then tied it up at 47-all. Sophomore Brock Motum scored and Capers added a free throw to give Wazzu a short-lived 50-47 lead but the Wildcats tied it with a trey with 5:06 remaining in the game and the Cougars would never lead again.
Capers tied it at 52 with a bucket but missed a free throw and Arizona scored on their next possession and the Cougars could never get ahead after that point.
Casto led the Cougars in scoring with 17 points followed by Capers with 11 points and sophomore point guard Reggie Moore with 10 points.
- The Cougars may have lost the game at the free throw line - where they shot a paltry 53% [9-for-17].
Washington State University continues their Pac-10 season with a game against rival Washington at 7PM on Sunday, January 30, at Beasley Coliseum in Pullman. The game will be televised by Fox Sports
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