Wildcats prove too much for the Cougars

Evan Baron Evergreen Men's Basketball reporter

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The Arizona Wildcats proved their rank as the best team in the country Thursday night in their matchup against the Washington State men’s basketball team. The Cougars (7-6, 0-1 Pac-12) fell to the Wildcats (14-0, 1-0 Pac-12) by a score of 25-60. 

From the opening tip to the final whistle, the No.1 ranked Wildcats had control of the game. The Cougars shot 9 of 45 (20.0 prevent) from the field. WSU made two field goals in the first half.

The man-to-man pressure defense of the Wildcats caused the Cougars to struggle offensively. The Wildcats defense prevented WSU from getting any open shots from behind the three point line and in the paint. Arizona blocked six shots and outrebounded the Cougars by 14.

WSU played tonight’s game without two of its starters, another reason the team struggled. Cougar guard DaVonte Lacy, still recovering from appendicitis, sat out the evening’s game. Lacy is averaging 18.9 points so far this season.

WSU guard Dexter Kernich-Drew did not play because of a concussion he sustained Dec. 28 in the game against Misississippi Valley State.

Cougar guard Que Johnson, who averaged 20 points in the last two games, was also shut down against Arizona. The Wildcats took Johnson out of the game. He sat out for most of the first half due to foul trouble and finished the night with three points (1-5 shooting). 

WSU forward Junior Longrus led the team in scoring with six points, and WSU guard Royce Woolridge was the second leading scorer on the team with four.

The Cougars will look for their first Pac-12 win on Saturday at 3 p.m. when they travel to Tempe, Ariz. to take on the (11-2) Arizona State Sun Devils.