Huskies fall to Cougars at home

After the beat down the Cougars put on the Huskies in Pullman, Washington had circled the Washington State game on February 14th as a game they needed to have. Not only for their tournament lives, but also becaue they hadn't beaten the Cougars in their last three tries. The Cougars had other plans and handed the Huskies their eighth conference loss in front of a sold out Bank of America Arena.

Early on senior G Ryan Appleby was hot hitting two three pointers to get Washington's offense going, but the visitors seemingly got to every loose ball and eventually worked their way to a 42-30 lead behind F Ivory Clark's 10 points in the first half.

For the first 10 minutes of the first half the Huskies dominated inside as F Jon Brockman and C Spencer Hawes scrambled for loose balls and got Washington State F Daven Harmeling in early foul trouble. After three minutes, Harmeling exited with two fouls and didn't return until after halftime.

The visitors from eastern Washington dominated because of their hot shooting. The Cougars hit 61-percent of their first half shots while the Huskies were mired in a cold streak late in the half going the final seven minutes of first stanza without a field goal.

Even more concerning for the Huskies was the fact that Washington State's leading scorer, G Derrick Lowe, was cold for most of the half and deferred to his teammates ending up the half with only seven points and two assists.

"I thought that Ryan competed really well against Lowe all night," Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar said following the game. "He took the challenge of guarding him and he really did well tonight with that I think."

Washington State started the second half as hot as the finished the first half hitting their first four shots, but Washington was able to match them and even started to force the ball inside to Brockman and Hawes.

Eventually, the Huskies got their defense working better and they ended up holding the Cougars to 38-percent in the second half including only one of three from three point land.

F Robbie Cowgill also got into foul trouble notching his fourth foul with 10:32 remaining and that gave the Huskies a mutch-needed height advantage down the stretch, but they were unable to make up much ground as they missed several free throws.

With 7:58 left, Hawes hit a fade-away jumper that would make NBA players jealous to pull the Huskies to within one at 55-54 and by that time Cougars head coach Tony Bennett had seen enough and called a timeout.

Out of the timeout, the Cougars were unable to score and the Huskies with 5:29 left on the clock the Huskies took their first lead since the 16:10 mark early in the first half when Hawes hit a short left-handed hook-shot over Washington State C Aaron Baynes.

Lowe came right back though and hit his first three of the game, putting the Cougars up by two and they would never trail again, but it wasn't because the Huskies didn't have opportunities to take the lead.

After getting a long rebound, G Justin Dentmon dribbled straight down the middle of the lane and short-armed a wide open layin. Brockman missed the front-end of a one-and-one that could have given the Huskies the lead as well and Hawes missed two free throws as well.

"(Washington State) is very well coached and they take advantage of every mistake you make," Romar said. "We had our chances, but they took advantage of the things when we gave it to them and we didn't take advantage against them when they gave us a chance."

After the teams traded baskets, the Huskies missed yet another chance at taking the lead as they Dentmon took an ill-advised jumper and the rebound bounced off of Hawes' hands out of bounds with 23 seconds remaining.

The Huskies almost created their own magic though as Dentmon tied up Taylor Rochestie, but the possession arrow was pointing Washington State's way and they were able to re-inbound the ball.

This time they got the ball into the hands of Lowe who nailed both free throws, putting the Cougars up by three 64-61.

After two time outs, Dentmon got a look at a three-pointer to tie the game but it was off the mark and Cowgill got the rebound and as fouled by Brockman. He hit one of his two free throws and brought the final score to 65-61.

Washington will now head east to face off against the fifth-ranked Pittsburgh Panthers on Saturday and then return to Pac 10 play on February 22nd on the road against Oregon State.




Notes:

-Washington got two points from their bench. Washington State got 24 points from their bench and were led by Taylor Rochestie's 16.
-Washington was held scoreless in the final 3:31 of the game.
-As a team, Washington out-rebounded Washington State 22-10 in the second half.


Statistics: Points: Hawes 22, Brockman 15, Dentmon 9, Appleby 9, Pondexter 4, Oliver 2
Rebounds: Brockman 14, Hawes 5, Dentmon 4, Oliver 4, Pondexter 2
Assists: Brockman 4, Dentmon 4, Hawes 2, Oliver 2, Appleby 1, Gasser 1, Pondexter 1
Steals: Brockman 1, Dentmon 1
Blocks: Brockman 1, Hawes 1, Oliver 1

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