PULLMAN, Washington (Ticker) -- Tony Bennett stepped in, but No. 9 Arizona stepped up.
Channing Frye had 17 points, including a pivotal hook shot in the lane with 63 seconds to go, as the Wildcats posted a 61-57 triumph over Pac-10 Conference rival Washington State, which was without coach Dick Bennett.
Tony Bennett, the coach's son, filled in for Washington State and the Cougars put forth a dramatic effort in an attempt to end a 36-game losing streak against Arizona (14-4, 6-3 Pac-10).
Washington State (10-9, 3-6) has not defeated Arizona since January 30, 1986 and the Cougars have dropped 18 straight home games against the Wildcats.
But this game was tight late and Washington State's Thomas Kelati nailed a jumper that forged a 57-57 tie with 79 seconds left. The Wildcats kept their composure on the road and Frye hit a short hook to give them the lead for good.
After Isaiah Simmons missed a 3-pointer with 20 seconds to go, Salim Stoudamire grabbed the rebound, was fouled and made both free throws for a 61-57 advantage.
"Our feeling was that we should be able to hurt them inside with Frye," Arizona coach Lute Olson said. "He did a good job and we did a good job of getting it to him."
Marcus Moore had 29 points for the Cougars, who were without their 60-year-old coach, who is sidelined by flu-like symptoms.
"These guys battled for my dad," Tony Bennett said. "They want to show him. Marcus and those guys took care of me. It's the staff. The preparation was already done."
Tony Bennett did feel that his team made a bit of a statement.
"We proved we could play competitive and win some at home," he said. "We aren't happy with the outcome, but we have to build on it at this point."
Andre Iguodala had 10 points and 15 rebounds for the Wildcats, who held a 45-24 edge on the boards and made 16-of-19 free-throw attempts.
"Overall, I thought we played pretty well," Olson said. "I thought Washington State played really hard."
Arizona led 6-5 early but Kelati buried a 3-pointer to ignite a 12-0 run. Moore had the other nine points in the spurt. The Wildcats fought back and were within 29-28 after 20 minutes.
Moore was 8-of-12 from the floor and had 18 points in 18 minutes in the first half. His teammates combined to shoot 4-of-15.
Neither team opened more than a three-point lead in the second half until a layup by Frye with 7:51 to go gave Arizona a 51-46 lead. Iguodala had a layup 50 seconds later but Simmons had a basket, Moore buried a 3-pointer and Justin Bellegarde had a layup with 4:44 to go to knot the contest.