When Arizona faces Washington State, the one thing that is generally known is that the Cougars are going to play strong defense.
However, the UA tends to do well against Washington State because of the difference in athleticism between the two teams.
Saturday was no different, as Arizona struggled in the first half, only to see a big effort in the second put the Cougars away 66-56 at McKale.
Arizona was down five at the end of the first half due in large part ot the fact that Nic Wise and Chase Budinger could not find the basket. Both players were getting decent looks, but could not convert on them, which was something WSU could live with.
At the end of the first half you had the feeling that if those two players could make their shots, the UA would be in fine shape. That is exactly what happened, as both players made big shots down the stretch.
Of course, in what is becoming a pattern, Jordan Hill was the best player in the court. Once again he had a double double with 16 points and 16 rebounds.
Washington State had absolutely no answer for Hill and the majority of his missed shots were because he settled for jumpers rather than him being well defended.
Two other players that deserve credit are Zane Johnson, with 10 points, and Kyle Fogg, with 15. Both players are doing their job and it shows. Johnson had nine of his points come from behind the arc, and it seems that opponents are having to respect him more.
WSU has a problem when collapsing on Hill because Johnson was hitting on Saturday. In addition, Fogg was active the entire game and made life difficult on both defense and offense.
He seems to be getting better every game and the Cougars really did not have a player that could match his intensity.
With the win, Arizona is back in the thick of the conference race and will have an opportunity to make another move with the Oregon schools next week.
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