Cougs bring defensive thunder down on Gonzaga

GONZAGA WAS DETERMINED to play at a breakneck pace. Washington State was determined to cover the Bulldogs in a crimson blanket of defense. Edge, Cougars. Keyed by Kyle Weaver's stout effort against Gonzaga sharpshooter Matt Bouldin, Washington State topped the 'Zags in a place they virtually never lose -- at home in Spokane -- with a 51-47 win Wednesday night before a packed, boisterous crowd.

Washington State outrebounded Gonzaga, a very good rebounding team, 44-30 on the night. The edge helped Wazzu overcome a cold shooting second half plus an unusually high number of turnovers, with the Cougars handing the 'Zags only their second loss ever in the four year existence of the McCarthey Athletic Center.

The team defense Washington State was exemplary nearly wire to wire on Wednesday, with the Cougars limiting the Bulldogs to 26 percent shooting on the night.

"It was a team defensive effort is what it was," said Tony Bennett in the postgame radio interview.

Kyle Weaver, who was getting an apparently sore leg stretched out by trainers prior to the second half tip, held Matt Bouldin to zero points on 0-of-9 shooting. The Gonzaga guard came into the game averaging over 14 points per -- and 18.3 points his last three outings against Virginia Tech, St. Joseph's and Connecticut.

Robbie Cowgill (5-of-7) had his third career double-double on the night, with 10 points and 11 boards. Weaver poured in 12 points on 5-of-10 shooting and chipped in six boards.

Meanwhile, the only thing that could stop Aron Baynes on the offensive end in the second half were the times he traveled. The Cougars big man logged a team high 13 points with seven boards.

The Cougs led for most of this one but Gonzaga hit three 3-pointers to make things interesting down the stretch. With 29 seconds left and the Cougs up by four, Taylor Rochestie jab stepped a defender towards the rim before stepping back and letting fly a trey. The bucket sealed the win for WSU.

"For Taylor, for turning the ball over too many times, to come up big with that three -- that was solid," said Bennett.

Rochestie finished with eight points, Derrick Low added six. Low had an off night shooting (2-for-8) but contributed solid defense.

We'll be back with more later.

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