And with Baynes in crunch time going mano-a-mano with Brockman, the Husky stalwart was held without a bucket.
"Aron said during the timeout we didn't need to double (Brockman) the last few possessions. And he handled him (down the stretch)," Bennett said on the postgame radio show.
Brockman's final shot from the floor was an airball with Baynes in his hip pocket. It was also the Huskies' last, best chance. Weaver tracked down the rebound, was fouled with 15 seconds remaining and canned a pair of free throws to finish the scoring. Washington State hit 12 of 14 from the line on the night.
Robbie Cowgill also played solid defense on Brockman -- the Cougar forward's three blocks were all against Brockman. Brockman, an excellent player in his own right, did have 14 points and 17 rebounds against the Cougs -- but Wazzu also held him to 6-18 shooting on the night. Baynes led the Cougs with 16 points. His last three came on a thunderous dunk where he was fouled and hit the free throw.
FOR FANS OF DEFENSE, they got a treat on Saturday, and from both teams. It was also one of the more physical Pac-10 battles in recent memory, with bodies flying early, often and throughout the night.
Washington played solid defense, particularly in the first half, as Washington State shot a chilly 26 percent. True, the Cougars missed some open shots, but they also faced a much improved Husky D. And it was stellar defensive play by the men in crimson that resulted in just a three point deficit at halftime.
BENNETT and DAVEN HARMELING
Kyle Weaver played particularly stellar defense on Ryan Appleby Saturday, holding the explosive shooting guard to six points on 2-of-8 shooting. Appleby came in averaging 13 ppg -- and had scored 18 or more in three of the Huskies' last six. Weaver finished with 13 points, nine rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block.
Daven Harmeling also contributed in a big way. The forward was a surprise participant, having fractured his thumb in practice only two weeks ago. He provided Washington State 21 valuable minutes and went 2-for-3 on three-point shots.
"Our guys just battled, and it was so good that Daven could give us a lift...those two threes were huge...That shows the kind of warrior he is - he is playing with a fractured thumb and he is a tough kid," said Bennett.
F Caleb Forrest, battling a sore ankle that kept him out of practice all week, gutted out six minutes and nailed his only attempt from the field.
"Caleb came in, and he stepped up," Bennett said.
WASHINGTON STATE led 8-6 early but Washington slowly began to shake off their own scoring doldrums, taking a seven point lead with just under five minutes left in the opening stanza. It was the Huskies largest lead of the game. The Cougs' next lead came at 7:44 of the second half on Derrick Low's layup, courtesy of a Taylor Rochestie steal and fast break.
Rochestie was battling the flu, taking intravenous fluids earlier in the day but the point guard had three steals against Washington -- and only two turnovers -- while chipping in four points on 2-of-5 shooting. The Cougs logged 10 steals on the night against just seven turnovers all told. Meanwhile, the Wazzu D forced 14 Husky turnovers, turning the miscues into 13 points on the other end.
Low was 0-4 from downtown before draining a trey to put WSU up 51-48 with 4:25 to play. From that point on, the Cougs never relinquished the lead nor were tied.
ROCHESTIE BROKE OFF a lethal crossover move on Morris, Washington's best defender, and hit an off-hand runner for a five point lead, their largest of the night, with 3:05 remaining. Washington State capped the 8-0 run with the Rochestie's bucket. The game was primarily about free throws from then on out.
In perhaps the key stat of the night, WSU went 12-14 from the line while Washington hit on only 5-13.
With time running down, what looked to be a horrendous foul call on Baynes, (replays showed the contact was a result of Brockman clearly pushing off), allowed the Huskies to pull to within a point on Brockman's free throw with 27 seconds left. The foul was Baynes' fourth. Weaver then hit one of two from the charity stripe, setting up Baynes' defensive lockdown on Brockman's final shot.
After Weaver's ensuing pair of free throws, Appleby, after three stumbling steps without a dribble, tossed up a desperation airball and Cowgill dribbled out the final ticks.
The road doesn't get any easier for the Cougs. Washington State next faces two away games against the L.A. schools -- No. 22 USC on Thursday night at 8 p.m. followed by an early tilt against No. 5 UCLA on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. Both games will be televised by FSN.
KYLE WEAVER, ROBBIE COWGILL AND DERRICK LOW HAVE BEATEN THE HUSKIES SIX STRAIGHT AFTER FRIDAY NIGHT's ROAD VICTORY