Shakur had one of the better Wildcat performances leading the way with 12 points, and adding four rebounds. Channing Frye broke it down for the media following the game.
"We didn't take the commitment at the beginning of the game," said Frye. "Our heads weren't in it. Some of us were in it, but some weren't."
A Daniel Dillon steal and layup gave Arizona its first lead, 17-16, with 8:30 left in the half, but consecutive offensive rebounds led to a pair of Cougar buckets. A pair of Stoudamire free throws and a three-pointer from Jesus Verdejo gave the UA a 22-20 advantage with 5:45 to go in the half. After a Cougar bucket, Hassan Adams drove the baseline for an emphatic jam, but the lead again was short-lived as WSU responded with a three on the following possession and driving layup to take a three-point lead again.
All things told, Adams scored 10 points, and added 9 rebounds along with two assists and two steals. However, he also committed four turnovers.
Stoudamire's first field goal occurred with less than four minutes remaining in the half, but after a steal he failed to convert an easy breakaway lay-in, and Wazzu buried a three on the other end. Stoudamire, however, answered with a three of his own that trimmed the advantage to 30-29 with 2:30 left in the half.
Unfortunately Stoudamire did not have the same performance that he has been having in recent weeks. He shot 0-5 from beyond the arc and 4-14 from the field for 11 points.
"We had problems with our veterans," Olson admitted. "They should know what it is like to have Arizona on their chest."
Shakur's leaning lay-in with 1:52 to go put the UA on top again, and Stoudamire hit a runner with 35 seconds left as Arizona built a four-point advantage, but a Cougar three with three seconds left cut the lead to 34-33 at the half.
The slop factor didn't improve much in the early stages of the second half. Arizona made one of its first seven shots from the field. Meanwhile, Thomas Kelati canned a three that gave the Cougars a 43-40 lead, and Chris Henry upped the margin to 45-41, but an Adams steal and dunk trimmed the lead to a bucket and the crowd got into the game momentarily, and when Ivan Radenovic buried a three, the UA found itself on top for the first time in seven minutes.
Kelati clearly led the way for Washington State tying his career high with 27 points alongside five assists and seven rebounds.
"We gave him (Thomas Kelati) a lot of good looks," said Shakur. "he lit it up."
Arizona looked to be on the verge of gaining control at the midway point of the half. It had a four-point lead and possession three times, but turned the ball over twice to keep Wazzu in touch with seven minutes to go, and Kelati hit a three that made it 51-50. Stoudamire missed a rare free throw, but an Adams follow put the UA up four again. That lead evaporated when a pair of free throws and a three-pointer gave WSU a one-point lead, but Radenovic buried another three, and Arizona was up 57-55 with five minutes to go.
"Ivan (Radenovic) played really well," explained Olson. "He comes out on the court and plays really hard. I though he had a fabulous game."
Another Kelati three had Washington State on top with 4:45 left. Wazzu actually garnered possession, but a Radenovic steal nixed any attempts to build on the advantage. He converted both free throws, and the UA led with 3:45 to go.
"I thought we were going to pull away at the beginning of the second half, but we'd miss a shot or a foul and they would come back and score," Shakur said.
Kelati converted another three from an offensive rebound to capture a 61-59 lead with three minutes left. An Adams follow on a Stoudamire miss tied the score, and Washington State turned the ball over with 2:20 left, however Arizona committed an offensive foul, and then Shakur committed a foul in the backcourt with 1:54 left. Jeff Varem made both free throws, and Shakur missed a three on the other end, but Shakur redeemed himself by picking up a loose ball knocked away by Stoudamire, and the game was tied again with 1:12 remaining.
Kelati got open again and drained another three for his 20th point of the half. Kelati buried two free throws to give the Cougars a five-point lead with 30 seconds to go. Stoudamire missed a long three, and from that point on it was a trip to the foul line for Wazzu.
The lack of defensive pressure put on Kelati hurt the Cats as he made the difference in the close game.
"You have to suck it up," Frye added. "If that's your man, you need to stick with him."
It marked Washington State's first victory over Arizona since 1986. The UA dropped to 17-4 overall, 7-2 at the Pac-10's halfway point.
"Everybody has to go and look at themselves," said Frye. "Salim (Stoudamire) and I will take the blame because we are the senior leaders."
Next up Arizona will face the Bay Area schools in Tucson.
"Next week we need to take care of business," Olson said. "Stanford has beaten us here three straight times."