for this game

Budinger, Bayless lead Arizona past Washington State

Feb 24, 2008 - 7:59 AM PULLMAN, Washington (Ticker) -- Chase Budinger and freshman Jerryd Bayless led Arizona to a much-needed victory.

The duo combined for 42 points as the Wildcats completed a season sweep of No. 19 Washington State with a 65-55 victory in Pac-10 Conference action on Saturday.

Budinger scored 12 of his 22 points in the first half and Bayless netted all 20 of his points after halftime for the Wildcats, who had lost four of their previous five games, including a 75-66 loss at Washington on Thursday.

"We really needed to get a win," Arizona coach Kevin O'Neil said. "We played badly over in Seattle the other night and had a heartbreaking loss to Stanford at home. We were focused, we played great defense and we worked hard."

The leading scorer Bayless came into the game averaging 31.3 points over his last four games, but started the contest 0-of-3 from the floor and was held without a point over the first 20 minutes.

"He kind of had his way with us in the second half, Bayless did," Washington State coach Tony Bennett said. "That was disappointing because I thought in the first half we did a solid job on him and Daven (Harmeling) did a heck of a job on Budinger, guarding him hard.

"It's hard to beat teams if you lose track of their top players."

Despite the struggles from its freshman, Arizona had a one-point halftime lead before falling behind 35-32 on Taylor Rochestie's 3-pointer with 14:38 left to play.

But the Cougars advantage was short-lived as Bayless scored six points during a decisive 13-2 run that gave Arizona a 48-41 lead with eight minutes remaining.

Washington State (21-6, 9-6) cut the deficit to four but Budinger made a 3-pointer and then converted two foul shots to give Arizona a 60-51 bulge with 1:17 left. The Cougars could get no closer than eight the rest of the way.

"All I tried to do tonight was come out with energy," Budinger said. "We just played hard on the defensive end. We all dug deep and we were really focused the last two days preparing for the game."

Bayless made 6-of-9 shots in the second half and Jordan Hill added 13 points and nine rebounds for the Wildcats, who have won 43 of the last 46 meetings with the Cougars.

Washington State shot just 34 percent (17-of-50) from the floor, including 5-of-22 from the arc.

Leading by one midway through the first half, Arizona used an 11-3 run to take a 22-13 bulge with 6:20 left before intermission.

The Cougars then went on a 9-0 spurt to briefly tie the game, but Arizona went back in front, 24-23, at the break.

Rochestie scored 14 points and Derrick Low had 12 for the Cougars, who had their four-game winning streak snapped.

"We're upset about the game definitely, there's no reason we're not going to be upset," Rochestie said. "We came out and wanted to win especially against them after they took it to us in Tucson. We're looking to the next game and we're playing two teams (California and Stanford) that beat us on our home court - so we have a lot to look forward to."