Jan. 6, 2007
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) - Washington State had not won an overtime game in eight tries, had not beaten such a highly ranked opponent at home in 24 years, and gave up a 7-point lead in the final minute to force overtime against No. 7 Arizona.
No problem for the Cougars, who scored the first six points in overtime and held on to edge Arizona 77-73 in overtime. It was only their second win over the Wildcats in the last 43 meetings.
"It was a joy to be a part of that game," Washington State coach Tony Bennett said. "To beat a team like this is a good step."
The Cougars (14-2, 3-1 Pac-10) got their biggest win at home since beating No. 6 UCLA in 1983, and they topped 13 wins for the first time since 1995-96.
Fans stormed the floor after the latest win in what is shaping up as a special season for the Cougars.
Daven Harmeling scored a career high 28 points, including 7 3-pointers, for the Cougars. He made 9-of-15 shots.
"I didn't do much but hit open shots," said Harmeling, whose previous high of 20 came in a win over Gonzaga on Dec. 5.
Arizona (12-2, 3-1) tied the score at 67 to force overtime, but was outscored 10-6 in the extra period and had its 12-game winning streak snapped.
"Tonight is typical of what you can expect in the league this year," Arizona coach Lute Olson said. "There are so many teams that are evenly matched."
Olson noted that WSU opened the Pac-10 season with a narrow loss at UCLA and a win over Southern Cal last week.
"They are very good," Olson said. "Not many teams can go down there and have a chance to win both games."
However, they held the high-scoring Arizona offense to 39 percent shooting, including just 6-of-21 on 3-pointers. Mustafa Shakur led the Wildcats with 19 points, while Marcus Williams added 18 and Ivan Radenovic 17.
Chris Matthews' 3-pointer and Harmeling's basket gave Washington State a 36-33 lead early in the second half, erasing a deficit at the break.
The teams exchanged eight leads over the next 8 minutes, until consecutive 3-pointers by Harmeling gave WSU a 51-46 lead.
Baskets by Weaver and Cowgill lifted the Cougars to a 61-54 lead with 2:47 left. But Shakur hit a 3 and Williams followed with a long jumper as Arizona pulled to 61-59.
Harmeling replied with his seventh 3, and Weaver added a pair of free throws for a 66-59 lead.
Chase Budinger's 3 brought Arizona to 66-62 with 36 seconds left. After Cowgill's free throw, Williams' basket cut Washington State's lead to 67-64 with 25 seconds left.
Weaver missed a pair of free throws and Radenovic hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key to tie the score at 67 with 11 seconds left. Washington State's Derrick Low turned the ball over and Shakur's long jumper missed at the buzzer.
Cowgill and Ivory Clark scored inside for Washington State and Harmeling added two free throws for a 73-67 lead with 2:05 left in overtime. Williams sank a reverse layup for the Wildcats and then added a pair of free throws to cut WSU's lead to 73-71 with 1:02 left.
Low sank a pair of free throws for a 75-71 lead, and Williams' turnover led to an easy layup by Matthews for a 77-71 lead.
Arizona had won three straight over WSU. They lead the series 48-12. Washington State's last win was on Jan. 29, 2005 in Tucson.
The Cougars' last overtime win was against Nevada in 2000.
Asked if the Cougars deserve to be ranked in the Top 25 for the first time since 1983, Harmeling shrugged.
"We don't care," he said. "No one has respected us from the beginning."