14 first-half points no typo. Cougs KO Utah

SEATTLE -- For a while there, it looked like WSU sophomore forward Robbie Cowgill was going to outscore Utah all by himself. He tossed in 10 points -- WSU's first 10 of the game, in fact -- before the refs had even broken a sweat, while Utah's Utes took the entire half just to get 14. That's no typo, folks. A Key Arena crowd very generously pegged at 5,496 ate up the Cougars' throttling of the perennial NCAA Tournament team.

The final score was 69-42, and the outcome was never in doubt as the Cougars led by 25 at halftime. WSU held the Utes to 38 percent shooting from the floor, while the Cougars themselves shot 55 percent for the game and a sizzling 64 percent in the first half.

Utah also had 19 turnovers against the Cougars, who came into the game with the third-rated defense in the nation.

For perspective on the victory, consider that Utah was 29-6 a year ago and, as usual, invited to the Big Dance. Moreover, their series lead against the Cougars coming into the game was 12-1.

The victory improved the Cougars' record to 7-2 -- their best start since 1996-97. They now gear for the start of Pac-10 play, which commences next week in Spokane against Arizona.

Cowgill, who hit on 4-for-4 field goals in the early going plus two free throws, finished with 14 poinsts and a career-high four assists and three steals.


Randy Green celebrates with the Seattle crowd after leading the Cougs with 15 points in WAZZU's 69-42 win over Utah.


The other big story for the Cougars was guard Randy Green, a product of Seattle's Rainier Beach High. The lone senior on the team -- as well as the club's lone scholarship player from the state of Washington -- pumped in 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field. He also had three assists and two steals.

Green also staked the Cougars to their biggest lead of the night -- 29 points -- at the start of the second half. He nailed a three-point shot and was fouled on the play. He made the subsequent free throw to put WSU up 43-14.

Derrick Low also was in double-figures for the Cougs, with 10 points, while fellow guards Kyle Weaver and Josh Akognon chipped in eight each.

NOTEABLE:
WSU freshman forward Caleb Forrest scored five points in seven minutes of playing time. That follows on 10 points in 15 minutes of action in the Cougars' win over Portland on Saturday. At this rate, he might challenge Gonzaga's Adam Morrison for most production per minute played.

Like the Cougar football team, which plays one home game per year in Seattle (the single-largest market for WSU alums), the hoopsters will be making an annual trek to the Emerald City for a home game. WSU has a three-year contract with the Key Arena. No word yet on who next year's opponent will be.

If you looked closely in the first half, you may have noticed what seemed like a gracious exchange of greetings between two guys who were mixing it up pretty good around the paint: 6-11 WSU freshman Aron Baynes and Utah's 7-1 Luke Nevill. A glance at the scorecard may offer a clue to the salutations. They're both from Down Under. Nevill is from Perth and Baynes from Cairns, Australia.

Sitting behind the Cougar bench were three familiar faces from last year's senior class: Thomas Kelati, Shami Gill and Chris Schlatter.

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