THE PUNDITS DECLARED it impossible. With the energy of the purple-and-gold clad fans at Edmundson Pavilion, there was no way the Cougars would be able to stymie the Huskies' high-scoring offense for a second time this season. But that is exactly what happened as Washington State replicated its earlier success against UW with a 80-69 win Sunday in Seattle.

The Cougars (18-10 overall, 8-8 Pac-10) displayed all the characteristics they have shown when they have been most successful this season. They used a mixture of zone defense — intertwined by a little man-to-man — that limited the Huskies (19-9, 10-6) to 34 percent shooting.

But WSU also displayed consistency in an area that often has been lacking in its losses: free-throw shooting. After the Cougars led by as many as 21 points in the second half, UW, which lost at home for the first time this season, went on a 16-4 run to cut its deficit to 65-59 with 4 minutes, 6 seconds, remaining. WSU sophomore point guard Reggie Moore then responded by hitting a pair of free throws that started a 6-0 run that kept the Cougars' lead in double figures for the duration of the contest.

"I thought our team showed great poise in the clutch," WSU junior center DeAngelo Casto said in a postgame radio interview after his team converted 32 of 36 free throws. He was a career-best 8-of-8 from the line.


Casto said last season's game at Edmundson Pavilion, where the Cougars led at halftime before losing 92-64, was a motivation. He said the team spoke about that result and the importance of maintaining composure when WSU led 24-17 at halftime.

"This year we didn't want to come out flat," Casto said. "We want to come out strong and aggressive."

The Cougars accomplished that in a much different fashion than the first half. Despite shooting just 32 percent at the intermission, WSU still led as the Huskies were just 22 percent from the field.

"A lot of our shots weren't going in early, but we played great defense," Casto said.

BONE SAID HE did not want to get into an uptempo game against UW, but that is exactly what happened in the second half. And the Cougars were successful through their free-throw shooting and another method that has been present in their wins: sharing the ball. WSU had nine assists and drew 26 fouls.

The result was a productive inside-outside offense. Casto finished with 20 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Junior wing Klay Thompson converted 13 of 14 free throws en route to a game-high 26 points.

Bone particularly was impressed with Casto.

"He's really doing a great job," he said. "He's been maybe as consistent as any player on our team during conference play."

CONSISTENCY HAS BEEN a buzz word for the Cougars since Pac-10 started. Bone thinks they displayed more of it this week — UW only led twice — because every player was available for practice. That includes junior guard Faisal Aden, who missed last week's loss at last-place Arizona State because of a knee injury.


"Good for them," said Bone, when told that WSU fans sang the fight song after the victory. "They should be proud. I am."

But the Cougars also followed their last win against the Huskies with a loss at Oregon. Bone maintains that WSU's only NCAA Tournament prospect besides winning the Pac-10 Tournament comes with victories in next week's home games against USC and UCLA and then advancing to the conference tournament championship game.

"We know what's at stake," Bone said. "I think we'll be fine."


  • WSU won for the 100th time in the rivalry. UW has defeated the Cougars 171 times.

  • Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar fell to 9-10 against WSU. Bone now is 2-2 against UW with the Cougars.

  • WSU swept the season series against the Huskies for the first time since the 2007-08 season.

  • UW entered the contest with 14 consecutive home victories. USC was the last visiting team to defeat the Huskies, 67-64, on Feb. 18, 2010.
  • The Cougars held UW to a season-low 17 first-half points. The Huskies' previous worst was 28.
  • UW guard Venoy Overton and WSU junior wing Marcus Capers were assessed with technical fouls with 1:50 left in the game. Capers fouled Matthew Bryan-Amaning before a brief skirmish ensued. Romar was given a technical foul earlier in the game.


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