As Casto hits winner, Moore looks to bench

THERE WAS NO Cougar who was going to leave the bench this time. And Ken Bone, looking like a condor with his arms spread as wide as the Arizona desert after DeAngelo Casto's game winner floated through the net with 0.1 seconds left, was there to make sure just in case.

Indeed, as Casto's off-balance beauty fell through the twine Friday in Washington State's dramatic 78-76 win over Arizona, point guard Reggie Moore didn't rejoice. His first reaction, following the travesty against Oregon in almost identical circumstances last week, was to gaze at the sidelines.

"I looked at our bench to make sure nobody was on the court," Moore told the Cougar Radio Network.

The similarities to the Oregon game were almost eerie. There was Casto taking the key shot. There was the clock -- 0.1 left when the ball fell through vs. 0.3 in the Oregon game.

Aside from the game being played in Tucson, one difference this time was that Casto got the ball on a pass from Moore rather than Klay Thompson. The biggest difference, though, was that every Cougar on the bench held their ground on the sideline after Casto's shot dropped -- and the refs didn't manufacture a ridiculous call for the opposition after the fact.

Bone was so excited with the nailbiting outcome that he gave Casto a chest bump after the horn sounded. "I've been lifting a lot, my chest is fine," Bone quipped in his interview with Bud Nameck.

Casto, the Pride of Spokane, finished the night with 16 points and 9 rebounds – 4 of those rebounds on the offensive end. Moore led all scorers with 20 points, and Thompson had 19. The next-highest scoring Cougar was Nikola Koprivica with 7 – three of them coming on a clutch trey at the 2:19 mark as the shot clock hit zero.

For Moore, his role on the final basket – a perfect pass, on the drive and in the air, amid tight traffic – was sweet redemption. He had missed a free throw – his fourth miss of the night -- moments earlier that allowed Arizona to tie the game at 76 with 13 seconds remaining. Moore also committed six turnovers – four of them in the first half, helping Arizona climb back from a 10-point deficit to tie things at 35 at halftime.

His confidence was shaken a bit after that first 20 minutes, he said, but Bone's belief in him "allowed me to believe in myself."

Moore came out for the final stanza with fire in his eyes. With Arizona extending its defense, Moore repeatedly drove and attacked, creating scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates.

"He's a gamer, a tough kid," Bone said of Moore, a true freshman from Seattle. "He did it in a lot of ways tonight."

The Cougars are now 12-3 overall and 2-1 in Pac-10 play. They head to Tempe on Sunday for an 11:30 am PT tip against Arizona State. The game will be televised on FSN.

  • The Cougars hit 4 of 10 shots from beyond the arc, Arizona 7 of 20. WSU held a 35-26 edge in rebounds, and shot 51 percent from the field vs. 46 percent for the Wildcats. Nic Wise was Arizona's top scorer with 15 points. The ‘Cats are now 7-8 and 1-2.

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