Washington State Turned Away In Tucson
By BOB BAUM
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Salim Stoudamire is back, and the Arizona Wildcats are out of their latest funk.
Stoudamire returned from a one-game suspension to score 21 points, 16 in the second half, and No. 17 Arizona snapped a two-game losing streak by beating Washington State 72-60 on Saturday.
The Wildcats (18-8, 10-7 Pac-10) beat the Cougars for the 38th consecutive time. Washington State last beat Arizona on Jan. 30, 1986, in Pullman.
Stoudamire, suspended by coach Lute Olson for "failure to meet team responsibilities," was 8-for-16 from the field, 3-for-7 from 3-point range, and held Washington State's Marcus Moore to five points on 2-for-11 shooting.
"I went in and talked to Coach O and he wanted me to get out there and hold him under 10 points," Stoudamire said, "and I did that."
Moore, who scored 36 and 29 in his last two games against Arizona, was frustrated enough to get into a few shoving matches with Stoudamire, and Cougars coach Dick Bennett eventually benched him for much of the second half.
Olson said he reinstated Stoudamire, Arizona's leading scorer and floor leader, because he was impressed with the sometimes moody junior's response to the punishment.
Stoudamire said he noticed something while watching from the bench as the Wildcats lost to Washington 89-84 on Thursday night.
"Sitting out the other night, I realized that we don't play any defense," Stoudamire said. "So I had to start it out from the jump playing defense."
Thomas Kelati scored a career-high 27 points for Washington State (12-14, 6-9). Kelati was 11-of-13 from the field, including 5-of-7 on 3s, but the rest of the Cougars shot just 29 percent (13-for-45). In his last three games, Kelati has made 15 of 21 3-pointers.
"I did take it on myself a little," Kelati said. "I felt pretty confident. We wanted to play more team ball. We have to play the Cougar way. We're supposed to stick together and play team ball, but we didn't do that tonight."
Bennett said he knew the Cougars were in for trouble after Arizona's loss to the Huskies.
"I knew they would come out ready," Bennett said. "They weren't going to lose two games at home."
Washington State split two games on its trip to the desert Southwest as it tries to hold on to a berth in the Pac-10 tournament. The top eight teams qualify and the Cougars are eighth.
Andre Iguodala had 12 points and tied his career-high with 16 rebounds for Arizona in one of his most aggressive games of the season.
"We needed a win bad," Iguodala said. "Also, I really need to attack at all times instead of being passive. I was just trying to attack today."
Channing Frye scored 20 points, 14 in the second half, and Hassan Adams had 11 for the Wildcats, who are 5-5 over their last 10 games.
The game was not nearly as close as the final margin would indicate. The Wildcats were up 69-45 on Frye's inside basket with 6:09 to play, then the Cougars finished with a 15-3 run.
The Wildcats used a 12-2 run to go up 17-7 on Frye's inside basket with 11:08 left in the half.
Frye scored six points and Stoudamire had five in a 17-4 outburst that gave Arizona its biggest lead of the half, 34-16, 2:13 before the break. The Wildcats held a 36-21 halftime lead.
Washington State shot 30 percent (9-for-30) in the first half. Kelati was 5-for-6, the rest of the Cougars 4-for-24. Moore was 1-for-9.
"We played great defense the first half. We were intense, I thought, on every defensive possession," Olson said.
Shami Gill's two free throws cut the lead to 43-32 with 14:53, and Olson was so disgusted with his team's play he kicked at the ball at the start of a timeout.
Arizona responded with a 20-6 run to go up 63-38 on Adams' three-point play with 8:07 left. Stoudamire scored nine during the run.
"We're still looking for a 40-minute game," Olson said. "We played 30 minutes of very good basketball, and we played 10 that we would rather forget about."