PULLMAN, Washington (Ticker) -- Arizona sleepwalked through its trip to the Pacific Northwest but came out of it with two victories.
Jason Gardner scored 19 points and Channing Frye added 15 as the second-ranked Wildcats shook off a sluggish effort to emerge with a 75-62 Pac-10 Conference victory over last-place Washington State.
Arizona (18-2, 10-1 Pac-10) opened the trip Thursday with an overtime victory at Washington, one that coach Lute Olson called "lucky." The Wildcats turned in another somnambulant effort but still extended their winning streak against the Cougars to 36 games.
"We're a young team," Gardner said. "We can get a 10-point lead, but we have to get our halves together and we've talked about that all year."
The contest unexpectedly was knotted at 54-54 with 6:52 to play, but Arizona closed with a 21-8 run.
Freshman Hassan Adams scored the first four points of the burst and Luke Walton converted a three-point play to give the Wildcats a 61-54 advantage with 4:39 to go.
"We turned the ball over a few times and they got out in transition and got some buckets," Washington State coach Paul Graham said. "Had we not turned the ball over and had a shot at the bucket, maybe we could have changed the scoreboard."
Gardner and Walton each hit four from the line in the final 2:42 as the Wildcats used a huge advantage at the stripe to pull away.
"The key for us in the second half was we stepped up and knocked down free throws," Olson said. "We were 18-of-21 from the line in the second half."
Salim Stoudamire contributed 13 points, hitting 3-of-4 from the arc, and Walton chipped in 12 on 8-of-9 free-throw shooting.
The Cougars' effort was all the more impressive considering leading scorer Marcus Moore had season-ending surgery on January 24 to remove bone chips from his right ankle.
Washington State (5-15, 0-11) saw its two double-figure scorers, Milton Riley and Chris Schlatter, foul out. Riley led the Cougars with 19 points and Schlatter had 15.
"You have to be up to play the No. 2 team in the nation," Riley said. "I tried to play hard and give coach everything I got."
Arizona improved to 43-10 all-time against Washington State and has not lost to the Cougars since a 65-63 overtime setback on January 30, 1986. The Wildcats own the longest current winning streak by one Pac-10 school over another.
Arizona, which has a one-game lead over second-place California in the league standings, has won three in a row since losing to Stanford on January 30.
The Wildcats swept the season series with the Cougars, also defeating them in Tucson on January 9.