Nov. 26, 2010
FRESNO, Calif. - Washington State University men's basketball took advantage of a 10-minute Fresno State field goal drought in the second half as the Cougars defeated the Bulldogs, 66-55, Friday in nonconference action at Save Mart Center.
Junior Faisal Aden, playing his first true road game for the Cougars, scored a team-high 28 points on 6-for-12 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc. He added three rebounds, three assists and two steals in 37 minutes of action. Fellow junior Klay Thompson added 22 points, five rebounds and three assists in a foul-troubled 32 minutes.
Fresno State was led by Garrett Johnson with 15 points and six rebounds, finishing the night just 5-for-13 from the field and 3-for-11 from beyond the 3-point arc. As a whole the Bulldogs shot .212 from 3-point, converting on 7-of-33. Kevin Olekaibe added 10 points. The team's leading scorer on the season, Greg Smith, scored eight of the Bulldogs' first 11 points, but finished with just nine points, all in the first half. He grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.
The Bulldogs outscored the Cougars, 12-6 in the first five minutes of the second half to take a 44-37 lead, their largest of the game. At that point WSU went on a 14-0 run in the next nine minutes for a 51-44 advantage with 6:06 to go. Fresno State broke the drought with two free throws by Tyler Johnson with 5:49 to go, before snapping a 10-minute span without a field goal with a jumper by Jonathan Wills with 5:01 to play.
Aden got hot in the final five minutes, scoring the next nine WSU points and a 3-pointer by Brock Motum and layup by Thompson sealed the 66-55 victory for the Cougars.
Washington State jumped out to a 19-13 lead in the first half, but couldn't hold on as Fresno State fought back, taking the 28-26 lead with 2:42 to go. The Cougars regained the lead and looked to take it into halftime. With less than 10 seconds to go, Thompson was stripped by Olekaibe who went all the way down the court for the dunk with a second to go, giving the home team a 32-31 lead heading into halftime. It was Thompson's only mistake in an otherwise stellar first half in which he scored 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting.
Thompson tied Marcus Moore in the WSU record books for 3-pointers made as he converted two of his six attempts. Motum added 11 points and seven rebounds in a career-high 30 minutes, while Marcus Capers grabbed a team-high eight boards for the Cougars.
Washington State returns home for three-straight games at Beasley Coliseum beginning with Sacramento State, Tuesday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m.