Anderson leads No. 23 Arizona to 79-64 win over Cougars
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) Ryan Anderson brought back memories of Arizona greats of the past.
''One of the best performances we've had in a long, long time,'' Wildcats coach Sean Miller said of Anderson, who had a career-high 31 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in a 79-64 victory over Washington State on Wednesday night.
Anderson, a senior transfer from Boston College, was 10 of 16 from the field and 11 of 17 at the free throw line for the 23rd-ranked Wildcats (18-5, 6-4 Pac-12).
''My teammates found me in a lot of great spots,'' Anderson said. ''I think any time you have a game like that with so many great players on your team, you have to credit your guys for finding you.''
Josh Hawkinson had 14 points - all in the first half - and 17 rebounds for Washington State, but he was one of many Cougars who struggled to deal with Anderson at both ends of the court.
''He's a really physical player,'' Hawkinson said. ''He can play inside and outside, too. Makes his free throws.''
''This whole year for me has just been surreal,'' Anderson said. ''It's been a lot of fun. I don't want it to end.''
Thanks largely to Anderson, the Wildcats made more free throws than the Cougars attempted. Arizona went 21 for 29 at the line; WSU was 15 for 19.
The last-place Cougars (9-13, 1-9) shot 34.9 percent from the field while losing their eighth straight overall, and their 10th in a row to Arizona.
''It's probable when I look at the (game) tape, I'm going to see the same old tape again,'' WSU coach Ernie Kent said. ''The mental lapses on the floor, when you forget to block out (on rebounds), forget to rotate (on defense), miss a layup, miss a free throw.
''... Players have to step up and have ownership and learn how to put teams away and close out halves and close out games.''
The Cougars trailed 29-28 before Arizona closed out the first half on a 10-2 run. The Wildcats led by 19 points in the second half, let the Cougars briefly pull within eight midway through, then pulled away steadily at Beasley Coliseum.
Gabe Marks added 14 points and Mark Tollefsen had 12 for the Wildcats.
Ike Iroegbu led Washington State with 20 points.
Anderson said the Wildcats had to ''bring our own energy'' while playing before a quiet crowd announced at 3,189.
Arizona: Sophomore point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright made his first college start when regular starter Kadeem Allen became ill. Allen played 7 minutes and fouled out after scoring two points. Jackson-Cartwright had seven points, four assists, one steal and no turnovers in 35 minutes. Miller described Jackson-Cartwright's performance as ''excellent.''
Washington State: Wednesday's loss assured the Cougars of a non-winning record in conference play for the 19th time in 21 years. The stretch began with a 9-9 mark in 1995-96. The current streak of eight non-winning conference seasons includes a 9-9 showing in 2010-11. Washington State has not finished above .500 overall since a six-year run of winning seasons ended in 2011-12.
TRIER NEARING RETURN
Allonzo Trier, Arizona's talented freshman guard, missed a seventh game with a hand fracture. Miller said Trier might play Saturday against Washington in his hometown of Seattle.
Arizona visits Washington on Saturday.
Washington State hosts Arizona State on Saturday.