Washington State gave one of the Pac-12's best a tough test at home once again, but couldn't finish it off as the Arizona Wildcats won their fifth straight game Thursday night at Friel Court.
The Cougars came out strong, jumping out to a 7-0 lead on Arizona. UA recovered to take a 40-39 lead at the halftime break. WSU continued to battle as the game remained in doubt into the waning moments.
Brock Motum continues to be a tough match-up. Motum scored 28 points on 8-14 shooting and was able to get his shot or draw a foul at will. Unfortunately, down the stretch he could not make his free throws, missing six in a row in the final minutes. After Jesse Perry converted a three-point play to put the Wildcats up by three with just around a minute to go, Brock was able to draw a foul while attempting a three on Arizona's Kyle Fogg.
He went to the line with a chance to tie the game, but missed his first two attempts. Arizona made their free throws the rest of the way to thwart a Cougar comeback.
Reggie Moore had his best offensive game of the season. He was aggressive to the rim and made 8-13 field goals on the way to 21 points. When Moore is playing well, Washington State can hang with anyone in the conference.
Arizona's sharpshooter off the bench, Brendon Lavender, burned the Cougs for the second-straight game, hitting 5-7 threes. That makes him 9-12 from three against WSU and 31-63 in UA's 25 other games. If the senior hasn't yet paid his fees for graduation, I'm sure Wazzu fans can take up a collection to help him out.
The win keeps Arizona in the hunt for the Pac-12 title. The loss sends WSU to 5-9, losers of 5 of their last 7 contests. The Cougs will be back at Friel Court on Saturday at 5 pm against the Arizona State Sun Devils. That game will be televised on Root Sports.