February 7, 1998
TUCSON, Ariz. - Michael Dickerson and Miles Simon each scored 19 points for Arizona as the 4th-ranked Wildcats won its 26th straight game over Washington State 83-61 Saturday before 14,536 at the McKale Center.
The Cougars (8-14 overall, 1-10 Pacific-10) dropped their seventh straight Pac-10 game. The 22-point margin marked WSU's worst defeat of the year. The Wildcats (21-3 overall, 11-0 Pacific-10) won their 14th game in a row and improved its league lead to two games over Stanford.
Jason Terry and Eugene Edgerson came off the bench to spark Arizona. Terry finished with 15 points and five assists while Edgerson pulled down 13 rebounds in 21 minutes. Carlos Daniel led WSU with 14 points and 14 rebounds. Kojo Mensah-Bonsu made all six shots en route to 12 points as WSU's only other double-digit scorer.
A 3-point basket by Dickerson near the end of the first half capped an 8-3 Wildcat run which put Arizona ahead 39-24 at intermission. WSU's 24 points was the lowest first-half production of the year for the Cougars.
Arizona built its lead to 21 points after Mike Bibby, who was fouled while shooing a 3-point shot, hit three successive free throws to put the Wildcats ahead 52-31 with 15:15 remaining in the second half. The Cougars countered with a 10-2 run capped by a thunderous follow-up dunk by Mensah-Bonsu, but WSU never got closer than 13 points the rest of the way.
The Wildcats shot 58.6 percent in the second half and 49.2 percent for the game. The Cougars shot only 38.7 percent, their fifth time in six outings less than 40 percent.
Quotes from Washington State head coach Kevin Eastman - "If you analyze the teams they've lost to, those teams can take (the ball) off the dribble, and we just don't have that. We compete hard and we're doing a great job with what we have meaning the players and coaches, but when they want to turn the talent on, we're in a little bit of trouble. (Arizona) doubles-down a lot better when (Edgerson) is in the game than when he wasn't. Carlos got some good looks, but not when he was in the game. When Carlos was catching the ball, Edgerson was coming with him. Whoever brought the ball up, more Jason Terry offensively, that's what hurt us. He got ahead of Steve (Slotemaker) and we couldn't keep him out. We moved the ball pretty well (in the first half) and got some okay shots at the basket, but we just haven't been able to put the ball in the basket on jump shots this year, and I'm not sure exactly why. In the last 1:42 they went from six or seven points to 15 real quick. We play Arizona differently than other teams play them. We give them some things that other teams don't want to give, but we want to take away other things. I think we have a nice formula (for beating Arizona) I just wish we would have more parts to execute the formula."
Quotes from Arizona head coach Lute Olson - "Washington State did a nice job of controlling the tempo of the game. We tried to tempt them into a fast pace, but they did not take the bait. They put a lot of defensive pressure on us and made it difficult for us to get clean looks to the basket. Gene (Eugene Edgerson) and JT (Jason Terry) did one of the best jobs for us. JT really pushed the ball and made a lot of things happen. Gene, with 13 rebounds in 21 minutes, can't play much better than that."
Quotes from Washington State senior Carlos Daniel - "They did a good job of trapping down on me tonight. Whenever I caught the ball, they ran another man at me. That's nothing I haven't seen all year. They're quick and they use it to their advantage. We played good defense. Overall, we played as good of defense as anyone has played against them all year. Edgerson did good on the boards. He always plays hard. That's his claim to fame."
Quotes from Washington State junior Steve Slotemaker - "When I was guarding Dickerson and Terry, they middle drive which means they come towards the paint, not the baseline and they did that pretty successfully. I'm obviously not the quickest wing player in the Pac-10, but I tried spacing and then they hit a couple of threes on me so I couldn't space them as much. But they are difficult for the quickest guys so it's difficult for me. I thought I did pretty good in the first half until Dickerson at the end of the first half hit a three on me. Up until that point I thought I was doing a good job keeping it out of their hands. That's the way I have to play defense, to keep my guy from getting the ball. Once they get the ball it's a lot harder."