Mohamed Gye had 24 points and 14 rebounds as Washington State won 74-61 on Saturday, ending No. 5 Arizona’s 28-game winning streak.
The Cougars (7-10, 2-4 Pac-12) put an end to the once-strong Arizona offense, creating a rare atmosphere of calm inside the McKale Center. Washington State built an 18-point lead midway through the second half and withstood Arizona’s second-half run, shooting 12-of-28 from 3-point range to end the third-longest active streak in the nation.
The Wildcats (14-2, 3-2) struggled offense for the third straight game, shooting 32% and 25-4 from the 3-point arc. Arizona scored his fewest halftime points (27) in his two seasons under coach Tommy Lloyd in the closing minutes after he cut the Cougars’ lead to five with a 12-2 run. , ran out of gas.
Azoulas Tubelis had 29 points and 14 rebounds for Arizona.
Arizona has gone defensive, dropping its high-octane offense to fourth gear in the previous two games.
Once the nation’s all-time leading scoring and best shooting team, the Wildcats scored 139 combined points against Arizona State and Washington, scoring both behind their defenses.
The Wildcats struggled offensively against Washington State again, going 3-for-8 and going 1-for-8 in the first half while shoving several contested shots inside.
As with Washington, Tuberis was the only Arizona player to have an offensive impact, scoring 15 points on 5 of 11 shots. The rest of the Wildcats went 4-16 combined.
Arizona’s defense had some success, holding the Cougars scoreless for over four and a half minutes and going 7-22 on 2-point shooting. Washington State took a 37-27 halftime lead with his 3 off TJ Bamba at the buzzer and made it up 3-7 to 15.
Washington State pushed their lead to 13 early in the second half and kept hitting shots every time Arizona attempted a run.
DJ Rodman hit a three-pointer after Washington State defeated Arizona’s full-court press and next possession. gave a run.
Arizona stepped up the defensive pressure, holding Washington State to two free throws in just over five minutes to cut the lead to 61-56 on a 12-2 run.
That turned out to be the Wildcats’ final gasp. Washington State returned the lead to his double digits and Wildcats fans were sent off.
Washington State arrived in the desert as the Pac-12’s most prolific 3-point shooter team. The Cougars have excelled again from the Arc, playing very defensively to beat the top five teams away.
Arizona needs to find a way to reinvigorate their offense. The Wildcats, who have scored 90 or more points per game, have failed to surpass 70 points in three straight games since the end of their non-conference schedule, and he will drop in the AP Top 25 on Monday.
Next up are Washington State against California on Wednesday and Arizona against Oregon on Thursday.
Reported by Associated Press.
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