No. 11 Wildcats Roll Past Washington State, 86-51

Feb. 10, 2001

By BOB BAUM
AP Sports Writer

TUCSON, Ariz. - Warmly greeted by the crowd and towering over theopposition, Loren Woods had the kind of night his sagging confidence sorelyneeded.

The 7-foot-2 center, who heard boos from some in his home crowd Thursdaynight, had 18 points, six rebounds, five assists and four blocked shotsSaturday night as No. 11 Arizona routed Washington State 86-51.

'I expect to do things like that all the time. It's important that I playlike that,' said Woods, who had called his recent play 'a joke' afterThursday night's 82-62 victory over Washington.

Woods was 8-for-12 from the field, including several dunks, against the muchsmaller Cougars.

'He was a lot happier,' teammate Gilbert Arenas said. 'When you arescoring points, it gets you in a lot better mood. We didn't say anything tohim. We just tried to get him the ball.

Woods sat out the last 11:40, and no Arizona starter played the last 10:41as the Wildcats (17-6, 9-2 Pac-10) beat the Cougars for the 32nd time in a row.

'They are just bigger and stronger than us,' Washington State coach PaulGraham said. 'They pounded it in, and on the glass. They are just better.'

Jason Gardner added 12 points, including three 3-pointers, six assists andno turnovers. Michael Wright and Richard Jefferson each added 10 points.

Washington State (9-12, 2-9), which ended its 31-game Pac-10 road losingstreak with a 57-56 come-from-behind victory at Arizona State on Thursday, wasno match for Arizona's quickness and size.

Milton Riley was the only Washington State player in double figures with 10points.

In a parade of layups, lob passes and stuffs, Arizona shot out to a 24-8lead and was up 49-27 at the half.

'That was the best start we have had since I've been here,' Woods said.'We were all getting open and working hard.'

Time after time, the Wildcats found someone open for an easy basket inside.They also made 4-of-10 3-pointers in the first half after going 1-for-14 from3-point range Thursday night.

Arizona had 30 assists in 35 baskets. In the first half, the Wildcats had 19assists on 22 baskets and committed only four turnovers.

After Olson chastised the handful of people who booed Woods on Thursday, thebig center got a warm ovation when he was introduced Saturday.

'When people start hearing good things, they tend to react in a positiveway,' Olson said. 'I think the ovation when he was introduced, I think thatgave him a real shot of Adrenalin. His first bucket was forceful. He reallythrew the thing down with authority.'

Woods had 12 points, five rebounds, four assists and three blocked shots inthe first half.

Arizona scored the last six points of the first half, four of them by Woods.

Woods sank two free throws with 11:40 remaining in the game, then left forgood with Arizona leading 69-40.

The 35-point loss was Washington State's worst of the season, surpassing theCougars' 84-51 loss to Arizona in Spokane on Jan. 7.

'I think they were in awe of this team,' Graham said of his players.'There are new guys on our team. Arizona is nationally ranked. There were14,000 people in here, and they are in position to win the title.

'We got a split on this trip. You have to play a hell of a game to beatthem. We just ran into a team that was better than us.'

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