Washington State vs Arizona

No. 1 Arizona limits Washington State to 25 points


TUCSON, Ariz. -- An outstanding Arizona defense faced a weak, short-handed Washington State offense, and the result was a record-breaking victory for the top-ranked Wildcats.

Kaleb Tarczewski scored 11 points and Arizona opened its Pac-12 season with a 60-25 rout of the Cougars on Thursday night, shattering the McKale Center record for fewest points by a team.

"They did a good job shutting us down," the Cougars' D.J. Shelton said in a major understatement.

The 25 points were the fewest for Washington State since the Cougars had that many at Idaho on Jan. 15, 1938.

The previous McKale record for fewest points was 37 by Northern Arizona in 1989.

"Our goal all season was to be a top-10 defense," Arizona's Nick Johnson said. "I think we should push that to a top-five and eventually the No. 1 defense in the country, because I think we have the tools to make it happen. This, I guess, is an example of what we can do."

The Wildcats (14-0, 1-0) took a 21-2 lead and were up 28-7 at halftime.

The Cougars (7-6, 0-1) shot 9 for 45 from the field and they needed to make a series of shots late to reach that.

Washington State was without leading scorer DaVonte Lacy, who underwent an emergency appendectomy on Saturday. Junior Longrus led the Cougars with six points.

"It was different because you don't see many games like this," Johnson said.

Washington State was also without starter Dexter Kernich-Drew because of a concussion.

"We know that they were playing short-handed," Arizona coach Sean Miller said. "Having said that, I thought our defensive effort was outstanding. .... It's a little bit of both, probably not as great a defensive effort as the score would reflect. At the same time I think we leave here feeling good about what we were able to accomplish."

Tarczewski, back after missing two games with a sprained ankle, was the only Arizona player to score in double figures.

Washington State's nine field goals were also a McKale record, breaking the previous mark of 13, also set by Northern Arizona in that 1989 game. So was the Cougars' 20 percent shooting, breaking the mark of 20.3 percent set by NAU that night 24 years ago.

"Arizona jumped on us early and it never really ended," Washington State coach Ken Bone said. "We weren't playing an up-tempo game but a lot of that was due to Arizona's defense. All the credit goes to Arizona and how solid they are in different areas of defending on and off the ball."

The Cougars missed their first 16 shots before Royce Woolridge made a layup with 6:42 left in the half. Arizona led 21-2 on Johnson's 3-pointer with 8:18 to go until the break.

"They are really a good team," Woolridge said. "It's just hard to score on them. They're big in the paint and it was just really had to score because they were so active. It's a good learning experience, though, and we won't let this happen again."

Washington State made it 21-7 before the Wildcats scored the final seven points of the half.

The Cougars were 2 for 20 from the field in the first half, breaking the McKale record of four field goals set twice, most recently by Arizona State in 1991. It was also a record for fewest points by a team in a half and fewest combined points in a half. The old record was 37 against Oregon in 1985.

The 9.5 percent shooting percentage was also an arena record for a half.

Washington State officials were unsure what the team records for fewest points or field goals in a half were but said Thursday's totals were the lowest since at least 2001. Arizona officials didn't know if the Washington State marks were an opponent low for any Wildcats' game, including those before McKale was built.

Lacy, who is averaging 18.9 points per game, will also miss Sunday's game at Arizona State.

Arizona plays Saturday against Washington, which beat Arizona State 76-65 on Thursday night.

"We have to be able to put this game behind us and be ready to go on Saturday," Miller said, "because clearly Washington is going to come in here with confidence."

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Brandon Ashley (left) and Aaron Gordon (11) make things difficult for Junior Longrus and the Washington State offense.  (USATSI)
Brandon Ashley (left) and Aaron Gordon (11) make things difficult for Junior Longrus and the Washington State offense. (USATSI)
Washington State (7-6)71825
Arizona #1 (14-0) «283260
WASHST:J. Longrus 6 Pts
WASHST:J. Longrus 4 Reb
WASHST:J. Railey 2 Ast
ARIZ:K. Tarczewski 11 Pts
ARIZ:A. Gordon 10 Reb
ARIZ:T. McConnell 3 Ast

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Washington StateArizona
Junior Longrus
Aaron Gordon
Washington State Cougars
R. Woolridge, G331-62-41224
J. Longrus, F262-62-64036
D. Shelton, F241-70-03002
Q. Johnson, G231-50-02133
J. Railey, C210-51-23231
W. DiIorio, G291-10-01023
I. Iroegbu, G251-80-04022
B. Boese, F70-10-00000
J. Hawkinson, F71-30-01002
D. Ballard, G30-10-00110
J. Hunter, F21-20-10002
D. Kernich-Drew, GDid Not Play
D. Lacy, GDid Not Play
K. Hayenga, FDid Not Play
Totals 9-455-131961625
Arizona Wildcats
B. Ashley, F293-81-28237
A. Gordon, F262-61-210215
T. McConnell, G243-62-24338
N. Johnson, G242-93-52128
K. Tarczewski, C223-35-630111
R. Hollis-Jefferson, F232-42-35016
G. York, G222-31-21217
J. Mayes, G101-21-24114
M. Korcheck, F50-00-02020
J. Hazzard, G41-30-00002
E. Conklin, F41-10-00002
T. Mason, G40-00-01100
D. Mellon, F30-00-00100
Z. Peters, FDid Not Play
C. Johnson, FDid Not Play
E. Pitts, GDid Not Play
Totals 20-4516-2440131560
Pac 12
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Arizona St.3-415-430
Oregon St.3-411-8154
Wash. State1-59-9152
Other games
WISC 76 Final
NW 49
ORE 70 Final
WICH 82 Final
STMA 51 Final
ORST 58 Final