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January 30, 2010

Wazzu Wins Half, Loses Game




The customary start for the Washington State University men's hoop team in the Pac-10 portion of the 2009-10 season was to begin the game slow and come back with a second half surge. But against the rival Washington Huskies, the Cougars reversed it. Wazzu came out of the gate strong then collapsed in the second half as Washington ran away for an easy 92-64 win in Seattle. With the loss, the Cougars dropped to 14-7 overall and 4-5 in the Pac-10.

Once again - as in the loss to Arizona State two weeks ago - the Cougars were without a starter at the beginning of the game. Due to a miscommunication, Wazzu sophomore shooting sensation Klay Thompson was late to the team bus on Friday and head coach Ken Bone made the decision not to start Thompson. But it did not matter as Thompson had more troubles than merely missing the bus and not starting. Thompson could not hit the side of the team bus on Saturday in Seattle and went a miserable two-for-15 from the field in amassing a lowly seven total points for the game. Fortunately for the Cougars, senior Nikola Koprivica, true freshman Xavier Thames and true freshman point guard Reggie Moore were hitting the bucket - at least in the first half. The three Cougars combined for 34 of Wazzu's 40 first half points - Koprivica leading the way with 13 - as Wazzu led at the break, 40-36.

But that was the end of the game as far as the Cougars were concerned as all three went cold in the second half and without Thompson's production, the game was essentially over shortly into the second half. After scoring the first point of the half on a free throw from sophomore Marcus Capers and extending the lead to five at 41-36, Washington went on a 15-0 run to take the lead and never trailed again. The Cougars did not score a second half field goal for nearly seven minutes and by that time, the Huskies had nearly all the points they would need to win the game. The Cougars briefly cut the Huskies' gap to 13 on several occasions, but could never get it under that deficit and Washington cruised in for the easy win.

Three Cougars finished in double digits in scoring, led by Thames with 15 points and followed by Koprivica and Moore with 13 points apiece.


NOTES:

- The 28-point loss was the Cougars' worst to the Huskies since 1975 when George Raveling's last-place squad lost to Washington, 103-70.

- The Cougars have not defeated the Huskies in their last three games.




Wazzu will continue Pac-10 conference play on Thursday, February 4 when they will face Arizona State at 7 PM at Beasley Coliseum in Pullman





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