Azuolas Tubelis posted his sixth double-double in the past seven games and No. 6 Arizona avenged a home loss to Washington State earlier this month with a 63-58 victory on Thursday night in Pullman, Wash.
Tubelis had 18 points and 12 rebounds as Arizona (18-3, 7-3 Pac-12) quieted the Pac-12’s best 3-point shooting team. The Wildcats never trailed in the rematch as they held Washington State (9-13, 4-7) to 32.8 percent accuracy from the floor, including 23.5 percent (4 of 17) from behind the arc.
Kerr Kriisa made five 3-pointers en route to 15 points for Arizona, while Courtney Ramey hit a dagger 3-pointer for a 63-53 lead with 55 seconds remaining.
Mouhamed Gueye had 15 points and 10 rebounds and Justin Powell added 15 points and nine rebounds for the Cougars, who entered the game leading the league in 3-point shooting (36.1 percent) and 3-point makes per game (8.6). In a 74-61 upset in Tucson on Jan. 7, they were 12 of 28 from deep.
Much of the second half was a grind, with the teams combining to make just 4 of 26 shots in the first eight minutes, when Arizona held a 40-36 lead.
The teams picked up the scoring pace from there. Washington State climbed within 42-41, but Larsson answered with a dunk on a drive from the wing to help spark the Wildcats, who built the lead to 55-45 when Kriisa nailed a 3-pointer with 5:28 to go.
The Cougars had a run left in them, though, as TJ Bamba scored the next five points. He missed a 3-pointer that would have cut the deficit to two with under four minutes left, and Arizona gained needed breathing room with another Kriisa 3-pointer for a 60-51 edge at the 2:15 mark.
Arizona was hot early, drilling 4 of 5 3-point attempts in taking its largest lead of the game, 21-9, before the second media timeout. The Cougars battled back with the help of eight steals that contributed to 11 first-half turnovers for the Wildcats. Powell made a driving layup with one second left in the half to make the score 36-32.
–Field Level Media