PULLMAN – Washington State will face a team seemingly without weakness, in a building where it is almost impossible to win at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday at No. 7 Arizona.
The Wildcats (18-2, 7-0 Pac-12) are tied atop the Pac-12 standings after beating No. 8 UCLA last week. They currently rank No. 4 in the Pac-12 in both field goal percentage and field goal percentage defense.
The McKale Center averages 14,270 fans per home contest, the most of any Pac-12 school by more than 2,000. The Cougars last won there in 2010, and have lost their last 10 matchups against UA.
And now the Wildcats have sophomore guard Allonzo Trier, who averaged 14.8 points per game as a freshman last season. Trier played for the first time this season in the UCLA game, having been previously suspended by the NCAA because of a failed drug test.
Now the Wildcats are led by freshman forward Lauri Markkanen, who averages 17.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. Markkanen is 7-feet tall, but has made 50-percent of his 96 3-point attempts.
WSU (10-9, 3-4) snapped a four-game losing streak last Saturday against Colorado in overtime. Now the Cougars will try to end its two-game losing streak on the road against the Arizona schools, following their matchup with the Wildcats with an 11 a.m. Sunday game at Arizona State.
Senior guard Charles Callison had a career-high 30 points in the win over the Buffaloes.
“These guys, all of them shoot the ball so well in practice,” coach Ernie Kent said. “Everybody shoots it well. We need to carry it over to the games, and that’s about confidence. If we can do that we don’t need Charles to have that kind of a game, if everybody would just bring their confidence to the floor.”
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