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Loren Woods Blocks the Cougars - Wildcats Win, 80-75

Washington State's Jan-Michael Thomas tries to drive to the basket but bumps into Arizona's Michael Wright (white) during the first half at McKale Center in Tucson, Ariz. on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2000. (AP Photo/John Miller)

AP Sports Writer
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Loren Woods scored a career-high 25 points and blocked a school-record 10 shots Thursday night as No. 2 Arizona survived an unexpected scare from Washington State 80-75.

The Wildcats (14-2, 3-0 Pac-10) beat the Cougars for the 29th consecutive time, the longest current streak of any opponents in the same conference in major college basketball. But it was anything but easy for an Arizona team favored by 24 points.

Washington State (5-7, 0-3) led 35-34 at halftime, fell behind by 13 in the second half, then cut Arizona's lead to three on four occasions over the final 2:06.

The Wildcats, down to seven scholarship players after Richard Jefferson broke his right foot in the road victory at then-No. 1 Stanford last Saturday, pulled it out by going 12-for-12 at the foul line over the final 5:16.

Highlight: Gilbert Arenas steals the ball and scores for the Wildcats [500k .MOV]

Arizona didn't have a field goal over the last 8:53, but went 14-for-16 at the line the rest of the way. For the game, the Wildcats made 31 of 37 free throws, while WSU was 9-for-13.

Michael Wright added 20 points for Arizona but grabbed only three rebounds, none in the first half, as the smaller Cougars outrebounded the Wildcats 36-25. Jason Gardner scored 12 and Gilbert Arenas added 11 points for Arizona.

Mike Bush scored 18 points for Washington State and Eddie Miller added 16 points and 14 rebounds. Chris Crosby and Jan-Michael Thomas had 14 points each.

Thomas, who had a McKale Center-record eight 3-pointers in his last trip to Tucson, was 4-for-6 from long range this time.

Highlight: Loren Woods dunks. [471k .MOV]

The Wildcats finally had what seemed to be a comfortable lead when Rick Anderson capped a 15-5 spurt with a 3-pointer that made it 66-53 with 8:53 to go.

But a 14-4 run by Washington State cut the lead to 72-69 on Bush's drive with 2:06 to play.

Wright, Gardner and Justin Wessel each made two free throws, but each time Washington State answered with field goals _ two by Miller, then one by Bush that cut it to 78-75 with 2.9 seconds left.

Anderson finally clinched it with two free throws with two seconds to play.

The Cougars, who last beat Arizona on Jan. 30, 1986, stunned the big Wildcats crowd by scoring the final nine points of the first half to take the one-point halftime lead.

Arizona's players all wore white headbands, a trend started by Woods in the Fiesta Bowl Classic championship game last month. 1st Ld-Writethru

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