Much Moore than we bargained for

It does not matter who or where they play, but when the Washington Huskies (4-12, 9-16) are on the road, they are a different team. It also did not matter that Washington State was dead last in the Pac-10 and everyone else had written them off. The Huskies are the opposite team that their fans see at home. They simply are not a very good visiting team.

The Cougars, fueled by the surprise return of junior guard Marcus Moore, put the Huskies chances of making the Pac-10 Tournament on code red after a 98-76 victory over the Huskies.

WSU (2-14, 7-18) was fresh off of snapping a 21-game Pac-10 losing streak and earning their first conference victory of the season. Moore came off the bench for the Cougars and was a difference-maker. Before what was thought to be a season ending surgery on his nagging ankle, Moore was in route to having a huge season. He was the Cougars leading scorer at 19.6 points per game.

He supplied a spark in the first half as the Cougars went on multiple runs to jump all over the Huskies. Washington looked lost as the Cougars went on a 17-6 run early on with freshmen Randy Green, Thomas Kelati, and Moore was hitting jumpers from all points in Friel Court.

Missed shots, blocked shots, air balls, and missed free throws all contributed to the demise of the Huskies in Pullman. Even when it looked as if Washington may have been able to put something together, a three-pointer or huge Cougar slam would put an end to anything the Huskies had going.

Washington State shot an amazing 65 percent from the floor in the first half compared to the Huskies' 36 percent, and went into halftime with a 49-30 lead.

The Huskies came charging out in the second half and did manage to put together a 10-0 run. Sparked by a pair of three-pointers from Mike Jensen and Nate Robinson's acrobatics, Washington cut the lead to 10 with plenty of time left.

However, back to back turnovers by Husky guards thwarted the Dawgs, and Moore would come off the bench to sink another shot from the top of the key to stop the run.

With the Cougars slowly putting together another run, Will Conroy took it upon himself to take charge and made some nice lay-ups. But the Huskies experienced a little "deja-vu" when a technical foul during a crucial stretch of the game may have been a deciding factor.

With 8:25 remaining, and after cutting the Cougars' lead to 15, Doug Wrenn committed his fourth foul of the game when he collided with Moore at mid-court. He was called for his fifth, a technical foul, immediately afterward. Moore sunk both free technical free throws, and the following two he was awarded for the foul, and Washington State was up by 19 again.

WSU had a phenomenal game from beyond the arc. The Cougars shot 54.7 percent from the field and connected on 12-of-23 from three-point range for the game.

The Cougars celebrated not only a 22-point victory over the Huskies, but also their second consecutive Pac-10 victory. 3,006 fans were there to see it.

The Cougars had five players scoring in double figures with Moore leading all scorers with 23 points. Green had 15 points, and Jerry McNair had 14 points. Chris Schattler and Kelati each had 11 points.

Brandon Roy scored a career-high 17 points to lead Washington. Robinson supplied 15 points while Conroy and Jensen each had 13 points.

With UCLA and USC also taking losses today, Washington still retains hope for a Pac-10 tourney berth, but the odds got longer. Unless they sweep USC and UCLA next week, the Huskies will need the Cougars to take at least one from the L.A. schools. If Washington fails to defeat USC next Thursday, and UCLA defeats Washington State on the same night, UCLA gains entry into the tournament and Washington is done for the season.
Husky Stats

Scoring: Roy 17, Robinson 15, Jensen 13, Conroy 13, Wrenn 9, Day 4, Massingale 3, Jones 1, Shelton 1
Rebounds: Roy 7, Jensen 5, Robinson 5, Wrenn 5, Conroy 3, Jones 2, Massingale 1, Day 1, Shelton 1
Assists: Conroy 2, Robinson 2, Wrenn 2, Roy 1, Day 1, Allen 1, Shelton 1
Blocks: Day 1, Wrenn 1
Steals: Jensen 1, Roy 1, Robinson 1
TECHNICAL FOULS: Wrenn

Scoring	       1st	2nd	TOTAL
Washington	30	 46	 76
Wash. State	49	 49	 98
Up Next: The always-difficult southern California road trip is next for the Huskies. Washington visits USC on Thursday, March 6th and will stop by Pauley Pavilion at UCLA on Saturday, March 8th. Both games are scheduled for 7:30pm and as of right now, there is no television coverage planned for those games.

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