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February 23, 2008

Arizona Sweeps Cougs

The first time Arizona defeated Washington State in Tucson, it was primarily because the Wildcats shot 57% from behind the three-point line. The location of the game made no difference as Arizona came into Pullman and shot the same 57% from beyond the arc and those treys carried them again to another double-digit win over the Cougars, this time a 65-55 win, completing the season series sweep over WSU. The loss drops the Cougars to 21-6 overall but Wazzu stays in sole possession of third place in the Pac-10 at 9-6. Junior guard Taylor Rochestie led the team with 14 points.

Senior guard Kyle Weaver - playing in front of his parents - opened the game for the Cougars with a three-pointer to give Wazzu a quick 3-0 lead. Arizona's Chase Budinger answered with a trey of his own, then senior guard Derrick Low hit for a 5-3 Cougar lead at 17:30 that would be the last Wazzu lead of the half. Budinger opened the game on fire - scoring 12 of Arizona's first 14 points despite being blanketed by Weaver for much of the time. The Cougars held super-frosh Jerryd Bayless scoreless in the first half but behind Budinger's early surge, the Wildcats built a nine-point lead at 21-13 - 12 of the points coming from three-pointers - at the 6:20 mark in the half. Wazzu fought back to tie it at 22 but Arizona edged out for a 24-23 halftime lead.

In the second half, the Cougars pulled ahead to a brief 37-35 lead, but Budinger hit another trey and the Wildcats never looked back as Bayless came alive - scoring all 20 of his points in the second half. The Cougars made a last-ditch effort late in the half, pulling to within four points at 55-51 at 2:18 after a bucket by senior forward Robbie Cowgill, but Budinger answered with yet another trey 16 seconds later and it was all over as Arizona rode out the final two minutes, hitting free throws to grow the final margin to double digits. Low and Weaver finished with 12 and 10 points, respectively, while Cowgill led the team with eight boards

The Cougars will next play against California at 8 p.m. on Thursday, February 28 in Berkeley.

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