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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
WSU Nixes Nicholls State, 78-69
Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 11/27/2009
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Nov. 27, 2009

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Washington State guard Klay Thompson scored 21 points and forward DeAngelo Casto dominated the interior Friday as the Cougars earned a spot in the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout title game with a 78-69 victory over Nicholls State at Sullivan Arena.

The Cougars (5-0) got 18 points and a tournament-high 14 rebounds from Casto, while guard Reggie Moore added 14 points and four assists. Casto's double-double marked the first of his career.

The Colonels (0-7) were led by 25 points on 8-of-15 shooting from swingman Fred Hunter, but the Southland Conference squad was outshot 59 percent to 44 percent and outrebounded 33-23.

Nicholls started strong, with guard Anatoly Bose scoring 10 of his 16 points in the opening half to give the Colonels a 31-29 lead at the break. But the Colonels could not hold a halftime advantage for the third time in the young season as Washington State used a 22-6 run early in the second half to take command.

A layup by Casto (8-for-10 from the field) gave the Cougars a 56-45 lead with 10 minutes remaining, and the Colonels could not pull closer than six points the rest of the way.

Thompson posted 7-of-14 shooting (3-for-6 from beyond the 3-point arc) from the field and knocked down all four of his free throws, adding a team and career high six assists. He was named the Carrs/Safeway Player of the Game.

Chris Iles dished seven assists without a turnover for Nicholls, which will meet 25th-ranked Oklahoma (2-3) in Saturday's 5th-place contest at 2 p.m. AST.

Washington State will take on the winner of tonight's late game between Houston (2-1) and San Diego (3-1) in Saturday's 7 p.m. championship showdown.

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