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February 1, 2007

Washington State beats struggling Arizona

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TUCSON, Ariz. -Ivory Clark scored 18 points and No. 18 Washington State defeated 20th-ranked Arizona 72-66 on Thursday night, completing the Cougars' first season sweep of the Wildcats since 1983.

Washington State (18-4, 7-3 Pac-10) won for only the fourth time in 48 games against Arizona coach Lute Olson.

The Cougars blew an eight-point second half lead, falling behind 57-56 with 7:44 to go. But the Cougars went on an 8-0 run and then kept the Wildcats at bay with their aggressive defense, holding Arizona without a field goal for more than six minutes down the stretch.

Arizona drew within 66-64 when the Cougars' Daven Harmeling hit a 3-pointer with 19 seconds remaining.

After the Wildcats' Marcus Williams made a pair of free throws, Harmeling scored on a breakaway layup and drew a foul with 7 seconds left. Harmeling finished with 12 points.

Chase Budinger scored 19 points and Mustafa Shakur added 13 for Arizona (14-7, 5-5), which lost for the sixth time in eight games.

Washington State, which beat Arizona 77-73 in overtime Jan. 6 at Pullman, came to the desert looking for its first season sweep of the Wildcats since 1982-83, the year before Olson arrived in Tucson. That was also the last time the Cougars finished ahead of the Wildcats in the Pac-10. They came into Thursday's game in third place, three spots ahead of the Wildcats.

The Wildcats were coming off a 92-64 drubbing by No. 4 North Carolina, Olson's worst home loss in 24 seasons at Arizona.

Arizona started freshman Jordan Hill in place of leading scorer Williams, who sprained his right ankle against North Carolina Saturday. Williams entered the game midway through the first half.

Arizona missed its first six 3-point shots after going 1-for-23 from beyond the arc against North Carolina. For the game, the Wildcats shot 21.1 percent (4-for-19) from 3-point range, and missed two that would have tied the game in the final minutes.

Arizona has won only four of its last 16 games against ranked opponents.

For more coverage of Washington State, visit CougZone.com; for more on Arizona, visit GOAZCATS.com.



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