IT'S AKOGNON TIME AS COUGS SHOCK No. 10 UW!!!

SEATTLE -- The shot clock was off. The Cougs could run it down on the UW and take the last shot. Well caution be damned. Josh Akognon was feeling it on this career night. Catching the ball behind the arc with the score tied and 17 seconds left in the game -- as cries of NO! poured from the WSU bench -- he let fly. And drained it. Nothin' but cord, as WSU pulled off a 78-71 shocker, dispatching the No. 10 team in the nation and besting UW in Seattle for the first time in 11 tries.

Talk about drama.

Josh Akognon was fearless, calmly hitting two clutch free throws after his dagger 3-pointer. He scored a career high 27 points.

He was not alone at centerstage. Crimson sharpshooter Kyle Weaver hooped his way to 19 points on 8-10 shooting, going 3-for-4 from behind the arc.

And Weaver, with 6 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 steals in a career performance, had the defensive play of the night, drawing a charge on Brandon Roy that sent the UW scoring machine to the bench for good and the Husky fans looking for the exits.

It didn't start out all that promising for he Cougs, playing for the firs time this season without starting point guard Derrick Low, who is out for at least six week with a broken foot.

THE KNOCK ON the Cougars (9-3) under Dick Bennett has been when down by double digits to a quality opponent, the chances for a comeback are remote. Facing No. 10 ranked Washington (12-2), Wazzu was down by 11 early.


Kyle Weaver had a tremendous outing against the Huskies. The WSU sophomore guard poured in 19 points on 8-for-10 shooting, going 3-for-4 from behind the arc, while adding 6 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 steals.

Missing their leading scorer in Low, gift wrapping the turnovers for the UW and coming out stone cold with a shooting percentage in the 20s, the Cougs had their backs against the wall early on. Washington is averaging 91.5 points per game, best in the nation, and the Huskies looked to be well on the way to matching or exceeding that number.

But the Cougs came clawing back, shooting at a 60-plus percent clip the rest of the way, putting the defensive clamps down on the Dawgs and withstanding a pitched UW comeback at game's end to give Washington State their first win over the UW in Seattle since the 1993-94 season -- the same season the Cougars last went to the NCAA tournament.

WITH AKOGNON AND WEAVER filling up the basket, Robbie Cowgill played some stellar D, swatting away five shots, grabbing 7 rebounds and adding 12 points.

Ivory Clark was money, with 10 points on 5-for-5 shooting including a two handed slam that blunted one of several attempted late runs by the Huskies. Clark pulled down 7 boards -- including 3 offensive rebounds. The Cougs out rebounded the Huskies 32-28.

And Caleb Forrest played like a seasoned veteran with timely scoring plus solid box outs and rebounding on the defensive end. The freshman center/forward saw 26 minutes in another impressive outing, scoring 8 and pulling down 5 boards.


Robbie Cowgill put up a brick wall around the Cougar goal against No. 10 Washington. The third leading scorer for the Cougs with 12 points, Cowgill blocked five shots and cleaned the glass with 7 boards.

WASHINGTON STATE came back from the abyss in the first half, with Cowgill and the Cougs putting up a wall in front of the WSU goal, going on a 15-4 run to end the first half to trail 33-31 at the break.

The Cougars came out hot to start the second half, forging a quick lead. Weaver beat the Husky defense to knot the game at 50-50 with 10 minutes left on the clock and it was tied again at 52-all with a little over eight minutes remaining when Akognon provided a harbinger of things to come.

With half a tick on the the shot clock, Josh Akognon launched a 3-pointer from NBA range. As the buzzer sounded, WSU took at 55-52 lead, eventually running it to 11 points on the strength of a 9-0 run.

With 6:12 to go, Washington State was up 64-54 and they could taste it. But Washington had a few more runs in them.

YET EVERY TIME the Huskies tried to overtake the Cougs, Washington State had the answer, sucking the air out of Hec Ed and sending the Huskies looking for towels to bury their frustration in.

Cowgill had an amazing block at the 3:45 mark when Jamaal Williams seemingly had a sure throw down dunk to cut the lead to three.

On the strength of a full court press, the Huskies forced a turnover and pulled to 69-66 and Mike Jensen then had a good look to tie it, but Weaver ran the break off the miss and slapped a prefect bounce pass to Clark, who slammed it home to put the Cougs up 71-66.

Roy, who sat for a little over seven minutes in the second half with foul trouble, tied at 71-71 on a pair of free throws with 55 seconds left and the momentum was all purple.

But the Cougars got it back after a few offensive rebounds on the ensuing possession. With the shot clock turned dark, Cowgill tossed it to Akognon and immediately wished he hadn't.

Cowgill saw the look in Akognon's eyes and began waving frantically as soon as the ball left his hands imploring Akognon not to take the shot. Not with 16 ticks left. But Akognon buried it.

No! No! Good shot!!!

Weaver drew the charge against Roy on the other end of the court, and Roy and the Huskies were done.


Huskies Joel Smith (0) and Jon Brockman (40) look on disconsolately while Brandon Roy can't bear to watch as Washington State deals Washington their second loss of the season. Roy, arguably the best player in the league, had 27 points for Washington but Kyle Weaver induced Roy into committing his fifth foul with 12 seconds remaining, sealing the Cougar victory.

NOTES AND QUOTES:
"We got great play off our bench from Ivory Clark and Caleb Forrest, and I thought Kyle Weaver was pretty special also."
-- WSU coach Dick Bennett

"They were mentally tougher than we were tonight."
-- UW coach Lorenzo Romar

Washington State shot 54 percent for the game after starting 5-14 from the floor. Washington was held to 40 percent as they suffered their second defeat of the season.

The Cougs were 12-14 from charity stripe, while the Huskies made good on 20 of their 29 free throws.

WSU out rebounded Washington by a margin of 32-28. Randy Green had three of them and while he finished with only two points, played good defense and dished out two assists.

Washington State blocked eight shots, including 5 by Cowgill who blocked three straight attempts by Williams on one Husky possession.


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