Long Ball is Cougars' Downfall vs. Wildcats

Jan. 24, 2008

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- Jerryd Bayless scored 23 points and Chase Budinger had 22, and Arizona used a barrage of 3-pointers to beat No. 6 Washington State 76-64 on Thursday night.

The Wildcats were 12-of-21 (57 percent) from beyond the arc, a season high for 3-pointers. Budinger hit four while Bayless and Nic Wise both had three.

The Wildcats (13-6, 3-3 Pac-10) handed Washington State its first double-digit loss since a 14-point defeat at Utah on Dec. 2, 2005.

Kyle Weaver and Aron Baynes scored 15 points each for the Cougars (16-2, 4-2). Leading scorer Derrick Low was 2-of-9 from the field and didn't have a basket until 2:38 remained.

After opening the season with 14 straight victories, the Cougars have lost two of four, with the other loss coming at No. 8 UCLA on Jan. 12.

In a reversal of their traditional roles, the Cougars came to the desert in a three-way tie for first in the conference while Arizona was mired in a three-way tie for sixth. The Wildcats won 38 straight games against Washington State between 1986 and 2005, but the Cougars have been the better team the last two seasons under coach Tony Bennett.

Washington State came in with the nation's top scoring defense, allowing 52.5 points per game. But Arizona shot 55 percent from the field. And when the Wildcats weren't knocking down shots, they feasted at the free throw line, going 20-of-23 (87 percent).

Midway through the second half, Arizona took command with a 10-2 run. After Jordan Hill blocked Weaver's shot into the seats, Wise hit a pull-up 3 to give the Wildcats a 47-38 lead.

They blew the game open with a 9-0 run that made it 68-50 with 6 minutes to go.

Arizona plays host to Washington on Saturday and Washington State visits No. 24 Arizona State.

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