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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Wildcats head to Pullman to knock off Cougars for 11th time in a row

Arizona+guard+Gabe+York+%281%29+rushes+downcourt+in+McKale+Center+on+Saturday%2C+Jan.+30.+The+Wildcats+will+face+Washington+State+on+Wednesday%2C+in+which+Allonzo+Trier+will+be+a+game-time+decision.+
Alex McIntyre
Arizona guard Gabe York (1) rushes downcourt in McKale Center on Saturday, Jan. 30. The Wildcats will face Washington State on Wednesday, in which Allonzo Trier will be a game-time decision.

After splitting games between the Oregon schools last weekend, the No. 23 Arizona Wildcats (17-5, 5-4 Pac-12 Conference) will be back on the road as they head up north to Washington.

The Wildcats will visit the Washington State Cougars on Wednesday, followed by a visit to Seattle and the Huskies on Saturday.

The Washington schools are the only same-state schools Arizona has swept this season. The Wildcats took down the Cougars 90-66, while also beating Washington 99-67 in McKale Center.

Arizona is coming off its first home loss in almost three years after losing to the Oregon Ducks 75-83 last Thursday.

Washington State (9-12, 1-8) has been in a steady decline since conference play began. After an early season victory over UCLA, the Cougars have lost seven in a row, including blowout losses to Arizona, UCLA and Utah.

Arizona has won 11 in a row in its series with the Cougars. The last time Washington State beat Arizona was Jan. 8, 2010, in Tucson.

Washington State forward Josh Hawkinson has been one of the lone bright spots on this team. Hawkinson currently ranks seventh in the conference with 14.7 points per game, as well as leading the conference with 10.8 rebounds per game. This is just ahead of Arizona’s own Ryan Anderson who is averaging 10.1 rebounds per game.

Hawkinson had a decent game against Arizona on Jan. 16, shooting 6-for-12 and finishing with 12 points and eight rebounds. Arizona played one of its better defensive games of the season against the Cougars, holding them to 45 percent shooting for the game and 27 percent from 3-point land. Arizona also forced the Cougars into 13 turnovers.

Arizona saw six players reach double figure scoring. Anderson scored 15 and Parker Jackson-Cartwright finished with 13 points and seven assists.

One stat Sean Miller would like to see fixed would be the team’s turnovers. Arizona had 12 earlier this year against Washington State and 19 against Oregon last Thursday.

“From an offensive perspective, we’ve never been more efficient on offense than we are right now this year,” Miller said. “Points per game, field goal, 3-point and free-throw percentage. There’s one stat that keeps us from being extraordinary on offense and that’s our turnovers.”

The Wildcats will be heading into this looking for their first road sweep of a conference opponent of the season. Arizona dropped both games on its trip to Southern California as well as losing to California on its visit to the Bay Area.

The good news for Arizona is that star shooting guard Allonzo Trier is likely to come back after missing the last three weeks with a broken hand. Trier is averaging 14.8 points for the Wildcats while shooting just above 50 percent from the field. Trier broke his hand during the Wildcat’s quadruple overtime loss to the USC Trojans.

“I don’t know how many games it’s been without Allonzo. It feels like 20,” Miller said. “We need his depth. We need his scoring. He’s an improved defender. He’s one of the best freshmen in the league and to get him back will really help us.”

Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. and will be broadcasted on Pac-12 Networks.


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