Arizona rolls past Washington State behind Ayton, Trier
PULLMAN, Wash. — Sean Miller was pleased with his team’s sterling offensive effort in a blowout win at Washington State.
The ninth-ranked Wildcats shot 67 percent in the first half and 61 percent for the game in beating Washington State 100-72 on Wednesday night.
Deandre Ayton scored 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, and Allonzo Trier added 24 points as Arizona remained in first place in the Pac-12.
“I think Deandre and Allonzo combined for 19 for 22 from the field,” Miller said.
Actually, they were 19 for 21.
“I thought we played well on offense,” Miller said. “We played with less than 10 turnovers, did a really good job on the offensive glass.”
Rawle Alkins scored 16 points for Arizona (19-4, 9-1 Pac-12), which has won seven games in a row. The Wildcats have lost just one time since Nov. 24.
Robert Franks scored 25 points for Washington State (9-12, 1-8), which has dropped 13 in a row to Arizona. It was the Cougars’ first home game since Jan. 13.
Washington State shot just 41 percent, and was only up that high because of a late spurt.
Ayton, a 7-foot freshman from the Bahamas, made 11 of 12 shots and helped Arizona outscore the Cougars 52-22 in the paint.
“They had a little match-up zone going and I wasn’t on the perimeter a lot,” Ayton said. “I could just cross the glass pretty easy on the offensive end to get offensive boards and put it back up.”
“He gave us problems all over the floor,” Franks said of Ayton. “He’s strong. He can move very well.”
This one was over early.
With the score tied at 20, Arizona went on a 25-5 run over the next seven minutes to build a 45-25 lead. Alkins hit three consecutive 3-pointers during that run, while the Cougars made just two of 14 field goals during one stretch.
“Those three 3s (by Alkins) really burst the game open in the second half,” Washington State coach Ernie Kent said. “His 3s really hurt us.”
Arizona led 53-34 at halftime after holding the Cougars to three field goals in the final 12 minutes of the half. The Wildcats outshot the Cougars 67 percent to 33 percent in the first.
“That is one of the most dominant teams in college basketball,” Kent said of Arizona. “There are easily three first-round draft picks on that team.”
Ayton scored the first seven points of the second half for Arizona, and the Wildcats used a 20-2 run to push their lead to 75-40.
Washington State’s shooting woes continued in the second as they went long stretches without a field goal.
“When our shots didn’t fall, I don’t know if we competed as much as we could have,” Kent said.
Arizona won the rebound battle 42-23, including 10 offensive rebounds that led to easy baskets. “They got too many easy baskets inside,” Kent said.
FLYNN OFF THE BENCH
Washington State point guard Malachi Flynn did not start the game for reasons that Kent declined to disclose. But Flynn came off the bench to score 11 points and dish out 11 assists. “He responded well,” Kent said.
THEY CAN’T MISS
In addition to Ayton’s hot shooting, Trier was 8 of 9 from the floor and Alkins was 6 of 8, including all four of his 3-point shots. The Wildcats sank 10 of 17 from 3-point range.
Arizona: The Wildcats have won 16 of their past 17 games, losing only at Colorado on Jan. 6. Trier and Ayton both came in averaging better than 19 points per game. Ayton also averages 10.7 rebounds.
Washington State: The Cougars are shooting .386 from 3-point range and are third in the nation with 11.6 made 3-pointers per game. The Cougars came in with an all-time record of 7-129 against teams ranked in the Top 10. They have slumped since winning the Wooden Legacy early in the season, dropping seven of their previous eight games.
Arizona plays at Washington on Saturday.
Washington State hosts No. 25 Arizona State on Sunday.