No. 5 Arizona outscored WSU 34-13 over a 15-minute stretch that spanned the end of the first half and beginning of the second half to easily dispatch the hapless Cougars, 78-59.
For the second consecutive year, WSU finds itself unable to pull out of a free fall. This doesn’t quite compare to last season’s 17-game losing streak, but WSU has now dropped its fifth consecutive game — and 10th in the last 12 — to fall to 11-15 overall and 4-10 in the Pac-12. The Cougars now sit alone in 10th place.
The Cougs were able to hang with the Wildcats for the first 15 minutes or so, thanks to some pretty good shooting; at one point, WSU had made 54 percent of its field goal attempts.
But that went south under the weight of Arizona’s novocaine-like pack line defense, which WSU fans will remember for its ability to lull you to sleep by enticing contested jumpers and securing defensive rebounds.
In the end, the Cougs would shoot just 44 percent from the field, including 5-of-16 from 3-point range, and secure just six offensive rebounds despite all those bricks.
Arizona, meanwhile, had a field day from deep, making 10-of-18 shots from beyond the arc. The Wildcats also scored 28 points in the paint, as if to prove they could score from pretty much wherever they wanted.
Parker Jackson-Cartwright led the Wildcats with 20 points, including a 3-pointer in the dying seconds of the first half that gave Arizona a 40-31 lead heading into the break and seemed to signal the end of whatever hopes WSU had of making a run to win the game.
Ike Iroegbu led WSU with 17 points and 5 assists and no turnovers. Robert Franks was the only other player in double figures with 10. Josh Hawkinson had 7 points and 8 rebounds.
The Cougs will try to get the season back on track when Arizona State visits Pullman on Saturday.