Feb. 1, 2008
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) - All season, California has been losing close games in the closing minutes.
The Bears finally won one Thursday night.
Ryan Anderson scored 27 points and California hung on to hand No. 9 Washington State its first home loss of the season, 69-64.
Cal (12-7, 3-5 Pac-10) either led, was tied or trailed by two in the final three minutes in six of its losses.
"We have been so close in so many games, our guys deserve to win," Cal coach Ben Braun said. "I've seen the pain in their eyes. No one knows what they've gone through."
This time, the pain was reserved for Washington State (17-3, 5-3) which had won all nine of its home games this season.
Cougars star Derrick Low shot a pair of 3-point attempts in the closing seconds that would have tied the score, the second rimming out with a second left.
"It went in and it was like my heart stopped," Low said, "and then the ball came out. That's the way the game was for me the whole night."
Low, who leads Washington State with 14 points per game, missed all nine of his 3-point attempts and had just five points. Daven Harmeling made only one of five 3-pointers and the Cougars finished 5-for-20 from 3-point range.
Cal was 9-for-20.
"We were one of 14 for our two shooters. We need to shoot the ball better than that to be successful," Washington State coach Tony Bennett said.
Starting Saturday, when No. 14 Stanford comes to Pullman.
Cal center Devon Hardin, who was averaging 10 points and 8.2 rebounds, did not make the trip to Pullman because he was ill. Jamal Boykin, a recent transfer from Duke, started in his place and scored 12 and added seven rebounds. He also had a big block on Harmeling's shot that would have given WSU a lead in the final seconds.
"We really needed to win this game," Boykin said.
Anderson was 9-for-13 from the field, including 5-for-7 on 3-pointers. He added nine rebounds, despite sitting most of the final 10 minutes of the game with four fouls.
"It was great to see Jamal Boykin start and play such an exceptional game," said Anderson, the Pac-10's leading scorer at 21.3 points per game. "He was the emotion behind our win."
Braun did not know if Hardin would be well enough to play at Washington on Saturday.
Patrick Christopher added 16 points for Cal, which broke a three-game losing streak.
Kyle Weaver scored 15 for Washington State, which had not lost at Friel Court since March 1, 2007.
The game was played in Pullman even though the area was paralyzed by a storm that dumped a foot of snow, forcing classes to be canceled the rest of the week and the governor to declare a state of emergency.
Boykin scored his team's first three baskets of the second half and Anderson followed with a pair of 3-pointers for a 47-39 lead.
Rochestie converted a three-point play and Harmeling added a 3-pointer for a 56-55 WSU lead with 10:40 left.
Anderson came out after picking up his fourth foul with more than 10 minutes left, but Christopher scored the next three baskets to give the Bears a 61-56 lead.
Washington State scored the next six points, with Rochestie's two free throws giving them a 62-61 lead with 3:54 left.
Christopher's stuff put Cal back on top 63-62.
Washington State kept missing from long range, making only one field goal for a nine-minute span before Low's layup gave them a 64-63 lead with 1:06 left.
Anderson replied with his first basket since coming out with foul trouble, for a 65-64 Cal lead with 40 seconds left. He added two free throws at the 20-second mark for a 67-64 lead.
Rochestie missed a 3-point attempt, but WSU was awarded the out-of-bounds ball with 9 seconds left. Low got two looks from 3-point attempt, but couldn't tie it up and the Bears added a couple of free throws.
In the first, Anderson's long 3-pointer gave Cal a 28-25 lead with 4:40 left. Weaver's 3 tied the game at 35 with 40 seconds left.
Anderson had 14 in the first half for Cal and Weaver had 12.