Feb 9, 2002
By MEL REISNER
AP Sports Writer
TUCSON, Ariz. - Luke Walton had 26 points and 10 rebounds as No. 11 Arizona took sole possession of first place in the Pac-10 by beating Washington State 85-68 on Saturday night.
The Wildcats (17-6, 10-3) got the edge they needed when California knocked Oregon out of what had been a first-place tie with a double-overtime victory.
Salim Stoudamire had 17 points and Rick Anderson 11 for the Wildcats, who won their fourth straight and 34th in a row over the Cougars (5-16, 1-12). Washington State hasn't beaten Arizona since Jan. 30, 1986, when it won by two points in overtime.
Mike Bush had 23 points and seven rebounds for the Cougars. J Locklier had 13 points - all in the second half - and 12 rebounds, and Marcus Moore had 12 points.
The Wildcats led by 21 points at halftime and maintained double-digit leads throughout the second half.
The Cougars got within 11 points twice - at 47-36 on the first two putbacks by Milton Riley in a 24-second span. But Walton and Anderson answered each basket by Riley with 3-pointers - Anderson's boosting the Wildcats to a 55-40 lead with 14:19 remaining - and Washington State was on the way to its 14th loss in 15 games.
Bush, who had a double-double when the Wildcats won 92-85 in Pullman, Wash., on Jan. 10, scored his team's first 11 points, sending the Cougars to an 11-6 lead with a 3-pointer 4:33 into the game.
But Arizona went on a 19-4 run in the next seven minutes, taking a 25-15 lead on Stoudamire's first basket, a 3-pointer with 8:31 to go.
After a few minutes of even play, the Wildcats broke it open with another run.
Stoudamire sank two more 3-pointers, another basket and two free throws as Arizona outscored the Cougars 17-2 in the final 4:15 of the first half, going ahead 44-23.
He and Walton each had 13 points at halftime.