WSU pulled off an upset of the No. 18/17 Washington Huskies in front of a packed and rocking Beasley Coliseum Sunday night. After owning a two-point lead at the half, the Cougars pulled away during the second period to finish with an 87-80 victory. The win gives WSU a winning record halfway through conference play at 5-4, while the Huskies fall to 7-2.
Play of the Game: No question about it, tonight's play of the game was the little-to-little alley-oop. Just over four minutes into the second half Abe Lodwick stole the ball from Justin Holliday underneath the Cougar's basket. He gave the ball to Reggie Moore who pushed it up the court four a 2-on-1 break. After getting to the free-throw line, Moore dished the ball off to Faisal Aden who drew the defender and gave it right back to Moore at the rim for the dunk. The play made the Cougar bench, as well as 10,000 members of the WSU faithful rise to their feet.
Turning Point of the Game: Tonight's key stretch was the first four minutes of the second half when the Cougars opened with a 10-1 run. After DeAngelo Casto and Klay Thompson had picked up their fourth and fifth fouls, respectively, the rest of the team needed to step up and produce. Moore and Marcus Capers each had five points during the run but credit goes to the entire team who put together multiple stops on the defensive end moved the ball efficiently on the offensive end. After the team's run, everyone in the building had confidence the Cougars could still win despite three starters battling foul trouble.
Player of the Game: Thompson came into tonight's game with only 29 career points against the Huskies, knocking down 17 his freshman year and 12 as a sophomore, putting up single digit points in each of the four games. The Player of the Year candidate almost matched that career total during tonight's win, finishing with 25 points. He hit some clutch shots from behind the arc where he finished 3-of-6, but did most of his damage driving to the basket and finishing over multiple Husky defenders. Thompson has done so many things throughout a career which is reaching mythical proportions. Now he can add a huge game against the westside rivals.
Stat of the Game: WSU forced UW into committing 24 turnovers, a season-high for the Huskies. More importantly, those turnovers resulted in 19 points for the Cougars. While steals is a category normally reserved for quick and aggressive guards, the majority of WSU's steals came from the Cougars at the bottom of the zone who were able to step out and pick off careless cross-court passes. The team finished with 13 steals, tying for second-most this season and the most in Pac-10 play.
The Cougars will travel will look to build on tonight's win as they travel to Eugene to take on the Ducks, Thursday, Feb. 3 at 6 p.m.
Until Next Time...Go Cougs!