Arizona rolls to fifth straight win with 72-60 victory at Washington State
Benn Mathurin popped off for 20 points on 12 shots, the defense held Washington State to just 34% shooting for the game, and Arizona rolled to its fifth straight victory with a 72-60 win on the road Thursday night.
The effort gave Arizona its sixth Quad 1 win of the season.
The fourth-ranked Wildcats (21-2, 11-1 Pac-12) looked like they’d be threatened for a moment in the second half. Washington State (14-8, 7-4 Pac-12) came out of the halftime break firing away, using a 13-4 run to draw within four points.
With 13:27 to play, Arizona held just a six-point lead.
A little over five minutes later it was a 22-point Arizona lead.
The Cats used a 21-5 run—spurred by 12 points from Mathurin—to break away from the Cougars. Washington State did well to fight back and keep the margin respectable, as they’ve done all season. No one has been able to truly blow out Washington State, especiall playing in Pullman. The Cougs entered the game 9-4 at home; each of the team’s previous seven losses had come by six points or fewer.
WSU coach Kyle Smith has his team playing hard. Michael Flowers led the Cougs with 16 points, though he took 19 shots to get there. But that was the evening for Washington State. Nothing comes easy against the Arizona defense, with the Cats’ ability to play any brand of ball and harrass opponents with size and length. Washington State had its worst shooting night since Dec. 22 while going just 8-for-32 on its triples.
Noah Williams reached 10 points, but no one else for Washington State cracked double-digits scoring.
Arizona got 15 points and five boards from Azuolas Tubelis and 10 points from Oumar Ballo off the bench.
One thing to keep an eye on with Arizona going forward is its proclivity for turnovers. With 18 against Washington State—which led to 24 WSU points—UA has now had 38 combined turnovers in its last two outings. Both have ended in double-digit wins, though, as Arizona has done well to limit the damage by continuing to crush teams on the boards. Still, WSU had a 16-shot advantage after Arizona State had an 11-shot advantage in the previous game.
Arizona closes out the roadtrip on Saturday with a 3 p.m. PT tilt against Washington.
Washington State, which saw its five-game winning streak snapped, will look to bounce back against the Sun Devils on Saturday at 7 p.m. PT.