Hard to say what's more surprising in WSU win

IT'S HARD TO SAY what was more surprising Thursday in Pullman: 6-foot-10, 270-pound Aron Baynes' coast-to-coast impersonation of Derrick Low or the fact Washington State beat Arizona State by more than one point.

Baynes, the Australian load of lumber in the post, put a supercharge into the Friel Court crowd of 9,212 with just more than six minutes left in the game when he nabbed a steal and sprinted downcourt unmolested. He capped it off with a slam dunk that put the Cougars ahead 45-40.

Here's the YouTube link to Baynes' excellent journey:


Cougar coach Tony Bennett joked after the game that he and the rest of the Cougar bench were wondering if the big man would know when to start his leap toward the hoop. "He's actually pretty athletic," Bennett conceded.

After Baynes' dunk, the Cougs proceeded to drain 11 free throws – six by Taylor Rochestie – to pull away and win 59-47. That margin unto itself was notable, because the last two times these teams met – earlier this season and late last season – the outcome wasn't decided until the final moments. WSU won both games by a single point.

Baynes finished the night with 10 points, six rebounds and a whopping four steals – his career high.

The Cougars, ranked No. 17 in the nation, are now 21-5 overall and 9-5 in conference play. They host Arizona, which lost to Washington on Thursday, 75-66. The Wildcats (16-10, 6-7) routed the Cougars in the teams' first meeting this season.

Low was the Cougars' leading scorer against ASU, with 15 points – his fifth-straight game in double figures. He also had six rebounds, two assists and two steals. Low moved into sole possession of eighth place in the WSU career record books for steals, passing Thomas Kelati. He now has 135.

• The Cougars scored 24 of their points in the paint, versus 14 by ASU. Wazzu had 14 points off turnovers, to ASU's nine.

• ASU's only lead came at the start of the game, 2-0. They tied things up at 26 but never retook the lead. WSU's biggest lead was 12 points, with 24 seconds left.

• WSU now trails the all-time series to ASU by one game, 32-31, and leads 19-11 at home…the Cougars have won four-straight against the Sun Devils.

• The Cougars have swept four regular season Pac-10 series this year (USC, Oregon State, Oregon and Arizona State).

Daven Harmeling moved into a tie for 15th in WSU's career record books with two 3-pointers made…he now is tied with David Sanders with 93.

• The Cougars have held the Sun Devils to an average of 49.7 points per game in the last three meetings (149 total points).


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