AFTER SCORING SEEMINGLY at will the past week, Taylor Rochestie was 1-for-10 from the field and hadn't hit a shot in nearly 45 minutes against ASU. Usually automatic from the free throw line, he had clanked a few of those as well. But with Wazzu trailing No. 11 ASU and the game slipping away, the senior let fly from 30 feet with just seconds left on the clock. Nothing but net. Nothing but victory.

With time winding down in the overtime, Taylor Rochestie had missed his last nine shots and was looking to drive. But ASU cut him off.

After the game, he was asked on the postgame radio interview if he felt any hesitation to try the long distance bomb from 30 feet.

"A little bit," said Rochestie after a pause.

But his shot was true and Washington State (16-13, 8-9), who was coming off thrilling wins over then No. 15 UCLA and Arizona, added Arizona State to the list of crimson vanquished by a score of 51-49.

"I made my first shot of the game and I made the last shot of the game -- and I'll never forget that last shot," said Rochestie.

Neither will Cougar Nation.

Wazzu seemingly had the game in hand at the end of regulation leading by three and with Rochestie on the line for a one-and-one. The second best free throw shooter in the Pac-10 entering the game at 90.4 percent, Rochestie missed the front end, ASU claimed the rebound and the Sun Devils had new life.

James Hardin with 2.4 seconds left was fouled on his three point attempt by Marcus Capers, who to that point had been part of a stellar team defensive effort, led by DeAngelo Casto, on the probable Pac-10 Player of the Year. Hardin was just 2-of-11 from the floor on the afternoon.

But Hardin made all three from the line to force overtime, and back and forth it went in the extra frame. ASU looked to be in the driver's seat with a one-point lead -- and the ball, with 49 seconds left.

And the Sun Devils then looked as if they would add to their lead with a sure close range bucket but Caleb Forrest flashed in with a monster block, giving Wazzu the ball with 15 ticks left on the clock and setting up Rochestie's game winning trey.

The game was certainly not a work of art on offense for either team but Tony Bennett said afterwards what he was most proud of in the win against ASU -- and for the past three seasons, really -- was how Washington State has won with defense. Nikola Koprivica was among those who stood out, said the coach.

"I thought Nik did a heck of a job (on defense) when he was in," said Bennett, who also lauded the efforts of Forrest, Capers, and Klay Thompson, who led the Cougs in points (17) and rebounds (7).

Aron Baynes had 11 points but on 5-of-14 shooting. The senior center, however, had some big rebounds down the stretch, had a key offensive board and dunk late in the game and played stout D in the paint on ASU's Jeff Pendergraph. The ASU big man finished with eight points, the first time in eight games he had been held below double figures -- since ASU's loss to the WSU on Jan. 29 when he also scored eight.

IT WAS SENIOR DAY in Pullman and Rochestie's shot will be remembered most -- but the future was also center stage for the Cougs on Saturday. Thompson set the all-time freshmen program mark at Wazzu for 3-pointers, passing Bennie Seltzer. Thompson now has 65 treys on the season.

And Casto -- the true frosh defensive stalwart who over the past few games has become a low post presence on offense for the Cougars -- became the freshman all-time single season leader for blocks at Washington State with 37. Rob Corkrum (1991) held the old mark with 36. Casto is also now tied for 8th all time in blocks among the single season leaders at WSU. He was 3-for-4 from the field against ASU and pulled down six boards.

  • Over the past three seasons, Washington State in the Pac-10 is second only to UCLA in overall wins and wins in-conference. The Cougs are 68-30 (32-21 Pac-10) the past three seasons since Tony took the reins of the Cougar program from father and former WSU coach Dick Bennett.

  • Crimson YouTube: Here's how Rochestie's shot looked, and sounded, from Friel.

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