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PACIFIC 10

Cougars manage to hold off Sun Devils

January 27, 2008|From the Associated Press

Washington State prides itself on defense.

The sixth-ranked Cougars were never prouder than Saturday, when they came up with two big stops in the final minute to pull out a 56-55 victory over No. 24 Arizona State at Tempe, Ariz.

Derrick Low scored 18 points, all on three-point baskets, as Washington State overcame an early 11-point deficit.

"We made just enough plays and made just enough stops to win," Coach Tony Bennett said. "I'd be sick if we would've lost it. I'm sure Arizona State's feeling sick about it."

The Cougars (17-2 overall, 5-2 Pacific 10 Conference) survived the upset bid when Arizona State's star freshman James Harden came up short on a drive to the basket at the buzzer. Harden had 25 points, his 10th game with at least 20.

Then the Cougars survived an angry Wells Fargo Arena crowd. Bennett said his assistant coaches told him that "a couple" Washington State players were hit by debris thrown from the stands as they left the floor. Bennett did not identify the players.

"A couple of our kids did get peppered in the head by water bottles coming off the court," Bennett said.

Arizona State Athletic Director Lisa Love said she would review video.

Low bounced back nicely after making only two of nine shots in a 76-74 loss at Arizona two nights earlier. He made six of 11.

It was the second year in a row that the Cougars escaped Tempe with a one-point victory. The Sun Devils (14-5, 4-3) have lost three in a row.

"We still have our confidence," Harden said. "Our first two losses, we didn't play well. Today was just a hard-fought game."

No. 20 Stanford 82, California 77 -- The 7-foot Lopez twins showed that they are arguably the conference's top tandem in the post.

Brook Lopez had 23 points, four rebounds and two blocks, all in the second half after sitting 15 minutes of the first because of foul trouble, and the Cardinal (16-3, 5-2) held on to win its third in a row. Robin Lopez had nine points, 14 rebounds and four blocked shots.

Patrick Christopher scored 16 points, had four assists and helped the Golden Bears get back in the game with heads-up play in the second half, but Cal couldn't find an answer for either Lopez in the paint.

Ryan Anderson was held to 11 points on four-for-10 shooting. He made a three-point play to tie the score, 51-51, with 9:27 left, but Cal (11-7, 2-5) certainly missed its leading scorer's typical production of 21.9 points per game.

Arizona 84, Washington 69 -- Jerryd Bayless scored 26 points and Chase Budinger 25 in an impressive display of marksmanship to lead the Wildcats (14-6, 4-3) past the Huskies (12-8, 3-4) at Tucson.

Bayless, the Wildcats' standout freshman guard, was nine for 11 from the field, including five for six from three-point range, and had six assists. Budinger was eight for 15, including five for 10 on three-pointers.

Arizona shot 62% (28 for 45) overall and was 13 for 22 from three-point range, nine for 14 in the second half.

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