Pac-12 Hoops: No. 5 Wildcats cruise past Cougars

Arizona center Chance Comanche (21) hangs on to the rim after a dunk against Washington State in the first half Thursday, Feb. 17, in Pullman, Wash. (Kai Eiselein/Associated Press)

Arizona center Chance Comanche (21) hangs on to the rim after a dunk against Washington State in the first half Thursday, Feb. 17, in Pullman, Wash. (Kai Eiselein/Associated Press)

PULLMAN, Wash. — Lauri Markkanen scored 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting and pulled down 11 rebounds to help No. 5 Arizona overcome an early deficit and breeze past Washington State 78-59 on Thursday night.

Parker Jackson-Cartwright added a game-high 20 points and hit 4 of 5 from 3-point range.

Arizona (24-3, 13-1 Pac-12) trailed for just over 10 minutes in the first half, but carried a 16-6 run into halftime, when it led by nine.

The Wildcats shot 5 of 6 from 3-point range in the second half and forced 12 Cougar turnovers. They spent the majority of the second half with the lead above 20 points.

Washington State’s leading scorer Josh Hawkinson struggled against Arizona’s interior size. He finished with seven points on 3-of-9 shooting, and struggled in both matchups against the Arizona this season.

The Wildcats missed the defense of Kadeem Allen early, who did not play due to a dislocated pinky.

Ike Iroegbu led the Cougars (11-15, 4-10) with 17 points.

The Wildcats started 3 of 9 from the field and Washington State took an early lead, which Arizona did not regain until its run late in the first half.

The win is Arizona’s 12th straight over Washington State.

BIG PICTURE

Arizona: The Wildcats lead Oregon by a game for first place in the Pac-12 standings, and checked in as the ninth overall seed in the selection committee’s top-16 projections. A road sweep in Washington would keep Arizona first in the conference, but it still needs to play USC and No. 6 UCLA next week.

Washington State: Losers of its last five, the Cougars currently sit 11th in the Pac-12 standings, two places behind Arizona State which it holds a win over and hosts Saturday.

UP NEXT

Arizona: The Wildcats play Washington in Seattle then return home to host USC and No. 6 UCLA.

Washington State: The Cougars are at home for the remainder of the season. They host Arizona State on Saturday and Washington on Feb. 26 to conclude the regular season.