Balanced Effort Leads 'Cats Past Cougars
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Jason Gardner scored 19 points to lead four Arizonaplayers in double figures but the No. 2 Wildcats struggled much of the nightThursday before beating Washington State for the 35th consecutive time, 82-69.
Luke Walton, back after missing last week's Oregon trip with his fourthsprained ankle of the season, had nine points and eight assists but fiveturnovers.
Channing Frye scored 11 and grabbed a season-high 13 rebounds for theWildcats (10-1, 3-0 Pac-10). Salim Stoudamire added 14 and Rick Anderson 13points for the Arizona, which overcame 21 turnovers.
Marcus Moore, the Pac-10's leading scorer, scored 35 points, including8-for-12 3-pointers for the Cougars (5-7, 0-3) despite bone chips in his rightankle. With his fourth career 35-point game, the junior guard topped 1,000points for his career with 1,005.
After a sluggish first 25 minutes, the Wildcats finally got in gear with a15-0 run to go up 54-35 on Gardner's layup after a turnover with 12:47 to play.
Walton had four points and two assists in the outburst. He had a stuff on ano-look pass from Anderson, then threw a behind-the-back pass to Anderson for afastbreak layup.
Washington State cut the lead to eight with just over a minute to play butgot no closer.
The Cougars were without starting forward Shami Gill (leg injury) and MiltonRiley (injured back).
In what might have been their worst half of the season, the Wildcatssputtered to a 34-31 lead. Moore scored 17 points and had six of the Cougars'12 field goals in the first half. No other Washington State player had morethan one in the first 20 minutes.
Andre Iguodala's 14-footer put Arizona up 27-18 with 4:45 left in the half,but Washington State responded with a 13-5 run capped by Moore's fourth3-pointer of the half - in five tries - that cut the lead to 32-31 with 55seconds left in the half.
Anderson's tip-in with 42 seconds left gave the Wildcats' their three-pointlead at the break.
Arizona committed 13 turnovers in the first half, to Washington State's 10.
The crowd of 14,462 was more than the Cougars had drawn for all seven oftheir home games combined.
TOMORROW | 5:00pm PTLive
TOMORROW | 7:00pm PTLive