The No, 7 Wildcats get balanced scoring in routing cold-shooting Cougars in only meeting this season.
PULLMAN — Arizona jumped all over Washington State and the Cougars couldn’t recover.
Brandon Ashley, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Kaleb Tarczewski each scored 17 points as Arizona routed Washington State 86-59 on Sunday night.
T.J. McConnell had 14 points for Arizona (22-3, 10-2 Pac-12), which plays WSU only once this season. The Wildcats led 53-19 at halftime, but were outscored by the Cougars in the second.
“We had a tremendous first half,” Arizona coach Sean Miller said. “We did what we needed to do in the second half. We weren’t going to beat them by 30 in the second half.”
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Dexter Kernich-Drew scored 20 points and DaVonte Lacy scored 18 for Washington State (11-14, 5-8).
Washington State shot just 27 percent in the first half, and the shooting woes were universal as they made just 1 of 11 three-pointers and 2 of 6 free throws.
Washington State outscored the Wildcats 40-33 in the second half when Kernich-Drew scoring 17 of his points.
McConnell said it was difficult to maintain intensity when the Wildcats were up by 30 points.
“They started hitting shots in the second half that they did not make in the first,” McConnell said. “We were giving them open shots.”
Washington State coach Ernie Kent said Arizona’s talent and skill level were too much.
“We weren’t making shots. We couldn’t keep up with the pace of the game,” Kent said. “We couldn’t handle what they came at us with.”