No. 6-seed Cougs take on Card in Pac-10 tourney

DICK BENNETT'S hard-nosed Cougar basketball team, victims of more overtime and last-second losses this side of Greg Norman, finally caught a break on Saturday. Following their 63-57 overtime loss at Cal to conclude the regular season, the rest of Pac-10 fell into place just right for the Cougs. That means WSU will play Stanford -- a team the Cougs have beaten twice this season -- in the opening round of the Pac-10 tournament rather than conference heavyweights Arizona or Washington.

The Cougars, who finished the regular season at 12-15 overall and 7-11 in Pac-10 play, are the No. 6 seed in the tournament. Stanford (17-11 overall, 11-7 in conference) is No. 3.

The Pac-10 tourney starts this Thursday (March 10). All games will be at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The Cougars and Card will tip off at 8:45 p.m. Tickets are available at 1-800-GO-COUGS, option 3.

FOX Sports Net will televise the game and Bud Nameck will call the action on the Cougar Sports Radio Network.

The Cougars defeated Stanford 60-51 in Spokane on Dec. 31 and then 59-48 at Stanford this past Thursday.

Saturday at struggling Cal, however, the Cougars just couldn't get things together. Senior Thomas Kelati scored a career high 29 points, but it wasn't enough. The Bears won in overtime, 63-57. Kelati was clutch, though. He drilled a three-pointer in the waning seconds of regulation play to send the game to OT at 50-50 and then hit another trey to put the Cougars up 57-54 with just more than two minutes left in OT.

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