There was no doubt a trip to Tucson was going to be tough for Washington State, especially without leading scorer DaVonte Lacy. But what happened on Thursday night, a 60-25 Arizona win, took a special level of incompetence.
WSU starting guard Dexter Kernich-Drew was also scratched from the lineup with a concussion, but as a strictly spot-up shooter, he wasn't likely to have an impact against an Arizona defense that wasn't giving the Cougars any space.
But even with a tough defense, it takes some incredibly bad shooting to score 7 points in the first half, like WSU did when it went 2 for 21. Doing this would have surely been more effective:
Hypothetically speaking, if you shot half-court shots for an entire 20:00 minute half, how many points do you think a team would score?— Brett Ward (@bward09wsu) January 3, 2014
The Cougs would turn up the pace in the second half, putting up 18 points to avoid setting an all-time low for points scored in the shot clock era (20 by St. Louis in 2008). SB Nation's Arizona Desert Swarm does note that 25 points is the fewest ever scored at the McKale Center.
Washington State's leading scorer was Junior Longrus with just six points on 2 of 6 shooting. Que Johnson was held scoreless until a 3-pointer with under a minute left. It took a James Hunter basket with 1:03 remaining to keep WSU out of the NCAA record books.
Arizona was led by 11 points from Kaleb Tarczewski, the only player in double figures. The Wildcats moved to 14-0 with the win.
WSU heads to Arizona State on Sunday. Can they score 30?