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WSU struggles against Arizona’s defense in 69-53 loss

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — James Akinjo scored 19 points and Arizona shut down WSU, pulling away for a 69-53 victory on Thursday night.

Arizona 69, WSU 53: Box score

Bennedict Mathurin added 14 points for the Wildcats (16-8, 10-8 Pac-12 Conference), who won the first meeting 86-82 in double overtime. Azuolas Tubelis had nine points and nine rebounds. Akinjo had six rebounds, four assists and four steals.

Arizona led 28-24 at halftime.

The Wildcats had a solid offensive performance in a game where the Cougars slowed the pace. They shot 50% and had a 40-32 rebounding advantage but the real difference was on the defensive end where Arizona shut down Washington State’s top scorer and hottest scorer.

TJ Bomba scored 12 points and Dishon Jackson 10 for the Cougars (14-11, 7-11).

Noah Williams, who had a school record 72 points in two games last weekend, was held to eight points on 2-of-15 shooting, 1 of 8 from 3-point range. Isaac Bonton, who averages 18.4, was held to three in 19 minutes in his first game back after missing three games with an ankle injury.

The Cougars ended up shooting 7 of 28 behind the arc and 20 of 63 overall (31.7%).

WSU wraps up the regular season by playing at Arizona State Saturday and Monday. Arizona is home against Washington on Saturday.

Huskies fall to ASU 80-72No. 1 Zags pull away to beat Santa Clara 89-75