WSU

WSU Cougars upset No. 8 Arizona 73-70 led by Jones’ 24 points

Jan 13, 2024, 5:47 PM | Updated: 6:47 pm

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Jabe Mullins, Isaiah Watts and WSU Cougars teammates celebrate a win over Arizona. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

(AP Photo/Young Kwak)

PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Isaac Jones had 24 points and 13 rebounds and the WSU Cougars upset No. 8 Arizona 73-70 on Saturday.

WSU 73, Arizona 70: Box score

After a 26-point outing in a victory at Southern California on Wednesday night, Jones was magnificent again. He got a short jumper to fall with 1:11 left to put the Cougars (12-5, 3-3 Pac-12) up by four and grabbed the game-ending rebound after Caleb Love’s 3-point attempt fell short.

It was the second straight season the Cougars have beaten Arizona (12-4, 3-2) with the Wildcats ranked in the top 10. Washington State won 74-61 in Tucson last season when Arizona was No. 5. The last time the Cougars beat a top-10 team at home was Jan. 16, 2020, against then-No. 8 Oregon.

“That was just a really great effort by our team, especially defensively,” Washington State coach Kyle Smith said. “They’re such a high-octane, potent team. And a big part of that was us not turning it over against them.”

Jones, a 6-foot-9 transfer from Idaho, scored 15 of his 24 points in the second half and made 8 of 10 free throws.

“He’s a unique player,” Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd said. “You’ve got a big who can handle the ball, get in the post multiple (ways). He has a supreme right-hand hook and he has a soft touch. His ball goes in. He had a couple layups there at the end that I thought were going to roll out and they stayed in.”

Love led Arizona with 28 points on 10-of-25 shooting. Oumar Ballo had 11 points and 14 rebounds.

Arizona’s Keshad Johnson banked in a 3-pointer with 16 seconds left to cut Washington State’s lead to 71-70. Myles Rice, who finished with 18 points, then made two free throws with 11.9 seconds left, and Love’s 3-pointer was off the mark to end the Wildcats’ comeback hopes.

Washington State led for most of the game and all the second half until Love’s 3-pointer – his fourth of the game – put Arizona up 57-55 with five minutes left. A few minutes later, Rice responded with a 3-pointer of his own from the top of the key to give the Cougars a 62-59 lead.

The Cougars had just nine turnovers and stymied Arizona, the No. 1 scoring team in the nation, for much of the afternoon. They blocked eight shots and held the Wildcats to 34.7% shooting.

“What I see is an average basketball team that has these really high moments and then they relax,” Lloyd said. “We’ve got to figure that out as the coaching staff.”

BIG PICTURE

Arizona: In their first road game since a 100-82 loss at Stanford two weeks ago, the Wildcats looked vulnerable again away from the McKale Center.

WSU: The Cougars got off to a slow start in Pac-12 play, but they showed Saturday they are going to be a tough out – especially at Beasley Coliseum – as the conference season progresses.

UP NEXT

Arizona: Hosts Southern California on Wednesday night.

WSU: At Stanford on Thursday night.

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