The biggest compliment for Jerryd Bayless didn't concern his team-leading 23 points.
The freshman point guard drew praise for what he did on defense in Arizona's 76-64 victory over No. 6 Washington State on Thursday night.
``Jerryd had a lock-down performance,'' Wildcats interim coach Kevin O'Neill said, referring to Cougars' leading scorer Derrick Low being held to five points on 2-for-9 shooting. He didn't have a basket until there was 2:38 to play.
``The few times Derrick did get clean looks, they weren't even close,'' Washington State coach Tony Bennett said. ``I've not seen him be that off in a while.''
Sophomore Chase Budinger had 22 points for the Wildcats (13-6, 3-3 Pac-10), who were 12-for-21 from 3-point range.
``I think we can beat anyone in the country right now,'' said Budinger, who had four of the season-high 3-point total.
Kyle Weaver and Aron Baynes both had 15 points for the Cougars (16-2, 4-2).
In other games involving ranked teams on Thursday, it was: No. 4 Duke 81, Virginia Tech 64; No. 8 UCLA 80, Oregon 75; No. 10 Michigan State 78, Northwestern 62; No. 15 Butler 63, Loyola of Chicago 50; No. 23 Xavier 69, No. 16 Dayton 43; and Washington 72, No. 24 Arizona State 61.
M on Dec. 2.
``We've had our share of ups and downs, but I'm proud of this team,'' O'Neill said. ``Any time you beat a top 10 team, it means you're getting better.''
The Wildcats beat the Cougars 38 straight times from 1986-2005, but Washington State swept both games last season.
Arizona took command with a 10-2 run midway through the second half and the Wildcats blew the game open with a 9-0 run that made it 68-50 with 6 minutes to go.
``We were still in the game at halftime, but the floodgates opened,'' Bennett said. ``It's not like the kids are lazy or they didn't try hard. We got exploited.''
It was Washington State's first double-digit loss since a 14-point defeat at Utah on Dec. 2, 2005.
After opening the season with 14 straight victories, the Cougars have lost two of four, with the other loss coming at UCLA on Jan. 12. Washington State came in with the nation's top scoring defense, allowing 52.5 points per game, but Arizona shot 55 percent from the field.
``We got thoroughly outplayed,'' Bennett said. ``We just could not make them earn anything. They played a heck of a game.''
No. 4 Duke 81, Virginia Tech 64
Kyle Singler scored 16 points for the visiting Blue Devils (16-1, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) who won their sixth straight game. Singler had 10 points in the 18-9 second-half run that broke open a close game.
A.D. Vassallo had 16 points for the Hokies (11-8, 2-3), who played without second-leading scorer and leading rebounder Jeff Allen, who is serving a two-game suspension for making contact with a referee.
No. 8 UCLA 80, Oregon 75
Freshman Kevin Love returned to his home state and had 26 points and 18 rebounds to lead the Bruins (17-2, 5-1 Pac-10), while Darren Collison added a career-high 22 points including two free throws with 1:04 left that gave UCLA a 74-71 lead.
Malik Hairston, who missed about 7 minutes in the second half with leg cramps, led the Ducks (12-7, 3-4), while Maarty Leunen had 16 points and 10 rebounds.
No. 10 Michigan St. 78, Northwestern 62
Raymar Morgan scored 23 points and Drew Neitzel added 20 for the visiting Spartans (17-2, 5-1 Big Ten), who were a season-best 11-for-18 from 3-point range and were 29-for-48 from the field overall in winning for the 14th time in 15 games.
Craig Moore was 7-for-14 from 3-point range and finished with 28 points for the Wildcats (6-10, 0-6).
No. 15 Butler 63, Loyola of Chicago 50
Reserve forward Pete Campbell scored 15 points, and Mike Green added 13 to lead the Bulldogs (18-2, 7-2 Horizon League), who took command with a 15-2 run in the first half. Butler has won 30 of its past 32 home games.
J.R. Blount had 16 points for the Ramblers (6-13, 2-7).
No. 23 Xavier 69, No. 16 Dayton 43
Stanley Burrell had a team-high 13 points and led a man-to-man defense for the Musketeers (16-4, 4-1 Atlantic 10) that dug in from the opening tip and never let up in their most lopsided victory over Dayton in nine years.
Marcus Johnson had 12 points for the Flyers (14-3, 2-2), who have lost 23 straight games against Xavier in Cincinnati, a streak that dates to Jan. 10, 1981.
Washington 72, No. 24 Arizona St. 61
Jon Brockman had 21 points and 16 rebounds and the Huskies (12-7, 3-3) beat Arizona State for the 11th consecutive time, the longest such streak in the Pac-10.
Freshman James Harden, playing despite a strained right groin, scored 17 points for the Sun Devils (14-4, 4-2), who lost at home for the first time this season. They shot 32 percent (17-for-53), including 5-for-24 from 3-point range.
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