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January 31, 2009
For nearly 30 minutes against the Arizona Wildcats, everything was looking good for an Arizona road sweep for the Washington State University men's hoop team. Wazzu held a 39-32 lead and were poised to possibly put the game away. Then, instead, everything went dark. A trapping Arizona defense combined with a cold-shooting stretch turned that seven-point lead into a nine-point deficit as the Wildcats went on a decisive 16-0 run that effectively ended the game and gave Arizona a 66-56 victory over the Cougars in Tucson. With the loss, WSU drops to 12-9 overall and 4-5 in conference play.
Senior guard Taylor Rochestie led the Cougars in scoring, with 22 points while fellow senior Aron Baynes was the only other Cougar able to get into double figures with 12 points.
Wazzu dominated much of the first half as they got off to a solid start in taking a 13-9 lead after senior Daven Harmeling temporarily conquered his shooting woes and canned a pair of treys early on to help the Cougars take the lead. "Big Daddy" Baynes was having his way in the paint - scoring 10 of his 12 points in the first half - while battling Arizona's big man Jordan Hill. But the Wildcats were still hanging around at the half with the Cougars clinging to a 28-23 lead.
Wazzu opened the second half with much the same rhythm as the first half and after Rochestie hit a bucket, built their lead to seven at 39-32 with 13:42 remaining in the game. From there, the Cougars went ice-cold - going scoreless on nine consecutive possessions - while the Wildcats embarked on a 16-0 run that would give them a nine-point lead at 48-39 and effectively ended the game. Arizona eventually built the lead up to 15 points but the Cougars could never get it closer than eight points for the remainder of the game.
"Big Daddy" Baynes had another double-double as he led the Cougars with 14 rebounds while Harmeling led the team with six assists.
Wazzu's next game is against Stanford at 7:30 pm on Thursday, February 5 in Palo Alto.
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