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

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


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.”


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.


Arizona: Hosts Southern California on Wednesday night.

WSU: At Stanford on Thursday night.

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