FROM PULLMAN — Washington State's 79-65 loss to Arizona here on Saturday night was unlike the Cougars' previous six conference losses. In each of those, they led at some point in the second half. In this one, they trailed by 10 points or more for the final 26 minutes. We have our recap, so read on.
PLAYER OF THE GAME — Solomon Hill didn't do much of anything in the second half. In fact, he didn't even score. But his six 3-pointers and 18 points in the first half helped the Wildcats take control of this one pretty early, and his banked-in buzzer-beater from beyond midcourt gave Arizona a comfortable 14-point halftime lead. Mark Lyons also scored 20 points to lead all scorers, but Hill's play in the first half seemed particularly deflating.
PLAY OF THE GAME — Guess we'll go with Hill's long heave at the end of the first half. Another important sequence was the travel by D.J. Shelton with about 3:30 to play and WSU trailing by 10. The Cougars had a 2-on-1 opportunity and could have cut the deficit to eight points for the first time since the first half, but Shelton traveled and Lyons scored five consecutive points to put the game away.
STAT OF THE GAME — WSU's first-half field goal total was the same as its first-half turnover total. Against a team as talented as Arizona, that's not going to cut it. Another important number: 3, the number of minutes played by point guard Mike Ladd in the first half. That's also the number of fouls he committed in the first half. That was killer.
QUOTABLE — “How much time do you have right now?” — coach Ken Bone, asked to assess the challenges posed by Arizona's talented roster
UP NEXT — A tough road trip, beginning with an 8:30 p.m. Thursday game at USC. The Trojans have played well under interim coach Bob Cantu. They won at UCLA on Wednesday, 79-75, in overtime.