Cougars run out of gas in Tucson; fall to No. 7 Arizona 79-62 - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Cougars run out of gas in Tucson; fall to No. 7 Arizona 79-62

WSU Athletics

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Allonzo Trier scored 17 points in his first home game of the season, Lauri Markkanen had a double-double, and No. 7 Arizona pulled away late to beat Washington State 79-62 on Thursday night.

Trier scored 12 points against UCLA on Saturday in his first game back from a 19-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs. He became more assertive after a quiet first half at McKale Center, scoring 11 points in the second to help Arizona (19-2, 8-0 Pac-12) finally shake the pesky Cougars.

Markkanen finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds in Arizona's 13th straight win overall and 17th straight at home.

Washington State (10-10, 3-5) played well most of the night in one of college basketball's toughest environments before being worn down by the Wildcats.

Conor Clifford led the Cougars with 19 points.

The Wildcats were coming off a convincing win over then-No. 3 UCLA for their highest-ranked victory in a true road game since 2001. Arizona jumped seven spots in this week's AP Top 25 and needed to avoid a letdown against the struggling Cougars.

Washington State had lost four of its previous five games, but played the Wildcats tough in the first half. Clifford gave the Wildcats trouble inside, scoring nine points, and the Cougars were within 39-33.

Washington State took it a step further to start the second half, scoring the first six points to tie the game at 39-all.

The Cougars kept hitting shots, keeping it close as Trier tried to take over the game.

Far more aggressive in the second half, he scored on a couple of hard drives early, then hit Chance Comanche with a nifty bounce pass to set up a dunk.

Arizona began to pull away with about 7 minutes left, gradually stretching the lead to double digits to put it out of reach.

BIG PICTURE

Washington State proved it can hang with one of the best teams in college basketball for long stretches, but needs to find a way to finish it off.

Arizona didn't play its best game, but could move up the poll even more next week with a win over Washington on Sunday after three of the top four teams have already lost.

UP NEXT

Washington State plays at Arizona State on Sunday before hosting the two Southern California schools next week.

Arizona hosts Washington on Sunday before heading to the Pacific Northwest to play the two Oregon schools.

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