Player of the Game: Luke Walton

He didn't get another triple-double, but there was little doubt who was the best player on court. Luke Walton hit 10-16 field goal attempts and led the Wildcats to a comfortable 85-68 win over the last place Washington State Cougars.

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In what seems like a recurring trend, Luke Walton wins Player of the Game honors with yet another great all-around game against Washington State Saturday night.

The Wildcat junior from San Diego wound up getting shorted by the official scorer, who said that Walton "only" had four assists. Be that as it may, his effort was phenomenal anyway. He scored a game-high 26 points on an array of jumpers, turnarounds, fade-aways and short bank shots. He also connected on one of three three-pointers and made five of his six free throws. It all added up to Arizona beating the Cougars for the 34 consecutive time, 85-68.

Other than his scoring touch, Walton also grabbed ten rebounds for another double-double. His effort compensated for teammate Jason Gardner's horrendous shooting night. Gardner scored nine points but what made the night so bad was that he made only one of his ten three-point attempts and was 4-14 overall. The upcoming four day break before UCLA should help Gardner get his legs back.

Walton continued to make those around him better, especially freshman Salim Stoudamire who had another great game. Stoudamire scored 17 points for the second straight game and made three of five long range shots, including a 26-footer in the first half that brought the less-than-boisterous crowd to life.

Other players considered for Player of the Game honors included Stoudamire, Mike Schwertly (six points, four rebounds and two assists on 2-4 shooting) and Channing Frye, who had an off night with his shot (3-12) but still managed nine points and 10 rebounds.


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