Feb. 2, 2010
Pullman, Wash. - Washington State University invites Cougar fans to Gray Out Beasley Coliseum when the men's basketball team takes on Arizona Saturday, Feb. 6 at 5:30 p.m.
Everyone attending the game is encouraged to wear gray as the players will be sporting their gray uniforms. For those without the proper attire, gray t-shirts are available for purchase at the WSU Bookie and at the game for $9.99.
The gray uniforms have been a good luck charm for the Cougars so far this season. WSU is 3-1 while wearing the grays. The Cougs donned the alternate jerseys for the first time Nov. 16 against Eastern Washington at Friel Court. WSU defeated the Eagles 67-61 as Klay Thompson scored 24 points. The grays were next seen in the championship game of the Great Alaska Shootout when Thompson poured in 43 points against San Diego and WSU brought home the title.
The last two times WSU wore them were in Seattle. First, the Cougars defeated LSU, 72-70, in the Cougar Hardwood Classic at KeyArena. Last week they lost in the gray uniforms at Washington, 92-64.
The Washington State University Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (S.A.A.C.) will be collecting donations for Haiti earthquake relief efforts at Beasley Coliseum during the game.
"As we all have been aware of the mass devastation and suffering experienced by the people of Haiti, we as student-athletes, along with the athletics department and the entire Cougar Nation, would like to extend our thoughts and prayers to the victims of this terrible tragedy," S.A.A.C. President Chima Nwachukwu said. "We hope that our efforts to raise funds for relief work in that country will be of aid to the many, many victims of this earthquake. It's the least we can do."
S.A.A.C. members will be positioned at tables at Beasley's main entrance (south side), collecting donations before, during, and after the games. All donations will be directed to the American Red Cross for Haiti relief efforts.
The Cougars defeated Arizona in the first meeting this season, 78-76, on DeAngelo Casto's layup with one-tenth of a second remaining. Freshman Reggie Moore paced the Cougars with 20 points, the first 20-point performance of his career. Thompson scored 19 and hauled in eight rebounds, while Casto fell one rebound shy of a double-double with 16 points and nine boards.
WSU opens the second half of the Pac-10 season Thursday at 7 p.m. against Arizona State at Friel Court. Head coach Ken Bone leads the Cougars into the final nine games of the regular season with a 14-7 record, including 4-5 in conference play. Thompson is leading the way with 21.6 points per game, while Moore is contributing 14.3 points per outing. The team's lone senior, Nikola Koprivica is surging in his final season as a Cougar. Koprivica leads the Pac-10 in 3-point shooting, knocking down 50 percent of his shots from beyond the arc.
Last season the Cougars swept the Arizona schools at Friel Court in the final home stand of the season. It started with a Thursday night game against Arizona. In what was widely considered their most complete game of the season, the Cougars dismantled the Wildcats. After an early deficit, the Cougars clamped down on defense and finished the first half on a 10-2 run, capped by a deep 3-pointer by Thompson just before the buzzer to cut the Arizona lead to 3 at 29-26. Behind strong second-half performances from Thompson, Taylor Rochestie and Casto, the Cougars spent the final 20 minutes distancing themselves from the Wildcats. In the end, WSU turned the 3-point-halftime deficit into a decisive 16-point victory. The 69-53 win was highlighted by a 28-2 advantage in bench scoring.
The Cougars followed that performance with a senior night for the ages. In the final home game for Aron Baynes, Caleb Forrest, Daven Harmeling and Rochestie, the Cougars and Sun Devils clashed in a back-and-forth battle that would not be decided until the final seconds of overtime. With WSU trailing by a point and little time remaining, Rochestie made his final appearance at Friel Court even more special. Once he got to the frontcourt he was forced to give the ball up, but demanded it back with just four seconds left. A jab step gave him enough separation to get a clean look at a 30-footer that fell through the net and gave the Cougars a dramatic 51-49 victory.