Brock Motum can't do it all for Cougars
Missed free throws at the end spoil 28-point effort
Seattle Times staff and news services
PULLMAN — When the clock was ticking, there was nothing Brock Motum couldn't or wouldn't do to lead his Washington State basketball team to victory.
When the clock was stopped, however, and the junior was at the free-throw line, it was a different story.
Motum scored 28 points, but missed four of five free throws in the closing minutes as Arizona was able to post a 76-72 Pac-12 victory Thursday night.
Motum's misfortune included missing two of three free throws with 21 seconds left and the Cougars trailing by three.
"Ninety-nine times out of 100 I would have made that," Motum said.
Arizona coach Sean Miller sought out Motum, the second-leading scorer in the Pac-12 with a 17.4 average, after the game to offer encouragement.
"Hopefully he didn't hang his head about any missed free throws at the end, because he willed his team," Miller said. "I always admired guys like him."
Brendon Lavender scored 17 points and Jesse Perry had two late baskets that lifted Arizona. Kyle Fogg had 16 points and Perry scored 14 for the Wildcats (19-8, 10-4 Pac-12), who won their fifth consecutive game and remain in the hunt for the Pac-12 title.
The Cougars (13-13, 5-9) have lost five of their past seven games.
Perry, Arizona's second-leading scorer and rebounder, drew his fourth foul less than a minute into the second half, but still managed to play 10 more minutes and score two key baskets.
Perry broke free to make two inside baskets and a free throw in the final 1:20.
"For us to play a whole second half with Jesse Perry having four fouls was really a tough situation for us," Miller said. "I'm really proud of the way our team responded.
"The biggest thing was our offense was clicking," he added.
Arizona shot 60 percent in the second half.
"We were able to have a good offensive night on our end, because we certainly didn't win because of our defense," Miller said.