Cougars Get Balanced Scoring in 78-71 Win Over Southern California
February 28, 1998
PULLMAN, Wash. - Carlos Daniel led five Cougars that scored in double figures and Washington State snapped its three-game losing streak with a 78-71 victory Saturday over visiting Southern California.
A Friel Court crowd of 4,242 and regional ABC-TV audience saw the Cougars (10-18 overall, 3-14 Pac-10) play their cleanest game of the season as they dominated the Trojans (7-19 overall, 4-12 Pac-10).
WSU shot 50 percent from the field, 57 percent in the second half, and outrebounded USC by a 38-25 margin. Defensively the Cougars held the Trojans to shooting just 39.6 percent overall.
Daniel finished with 15 points and a game-high 14 rebounds and blocked two shots. Kojo Mensah-Bonsu scored 14 points, Blake Pengelly and Kab Kazadi had 12 points each and Chris Crosby added 11 points. It was the third straight home game WSU had five double-digit scorers.
Reserve Elias Ayuso of USC led all scorers with 22 points, including five 3-point baskets.
A pair of made free throws by Kazadi gave WSU a 32-28 lead with 3:13 left in the first half. The Trojans closed the half with a 9-3 run, including a jump shot by Johnson with five seconds remaining to take a 37-35 halftime advantage.
Johnson's 3-point basket at 16:25 pushed USC's lead to 44-39, but WSU countered with back-to-back 3-pointers by Pengelly and Crosby to take a slim 45-44 lead.
A 3-pointer by Ayuso at 10:45 gave the Trojans a 53-49 cushion, but a 3-pointer by Steve Slotemaker and back-to-back threes from Crosby ignited a 14-2 Cougar run that kept WSU ahead for good.
Quotes from Washington State head coach Kevin Eastman - "In the first half, I think we wanted to play so hard and win the game so much we had to back off a little bit. We got good performances in the second half. The players took the game into their own hands. We are working hard for this year, because we still have games left."
Quotes from USC head coach Mike Bibby - "Crosby is one of the best shooters
in the Pac-10 and he made two big shots down the stretch that really hurt
us. They outplayed us. They hit the shots they needed to win the game."
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