If your football team goes 10 minutes in the first half without a field goal you are not alarmed. If your basketball team goes 10 minutes of the first half without a field goal your team is probably going to lose in unattractive way. Such was the case Saturday afternoon in Tucson as Washington State (11-17 overall, 2-13 conference) went down to the 12th ranked Arizona Wildcats 73-56 on Lute and Bobbi Olson Court at the McKale Center.
The Cougars tied a season low by tallying only 19 points in the first half. A game effort brought WSU to within 10 points on two occasions in the second half but the ultimate outcome was written in the unproductive first stanza. Washington State senior forward Brock Motum belied his team's anemic offensive afternoon with 20 points on seven for 13 from the field, but he punctuated the Cougars' frustration at the free throw line by hitting only five of his 11 charity tosses. Washington Stae was only 14 for 28 from the line as a team.
Arizona (21-4, 11-4) was led by senior guard Kevin Parrom who scored 19 points after being shut out by Washington on Wednesday night. The 6'6" Parrom shot over the top of WSU's smaller guards, going five for six from beyond the arc. His sharpshooting seemingly beat back each and every WSU attempt at a second half comeback. Wildcat season long leading scorer Mark Lyons contributed 14 points to the cause for the 'Cats, who now hold a 1/2 game lead in the conference pending the Stanford/Oregon game to be played later Saturday night.
Next up for Washington State is the intra-state rematch at Washington Sunday March 3rd. The Cougars' current eight game losing streak could be broken in Seattle. Ken Bone will need a better overall performance from his charges if that is to be the case.