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Cougs win ugly over Beavs


Seven Oregon State points in the final 13:38 of regulation. Fifteen Washington State turnovers. 35% shooting by the Beavers. A nine-point OSU lead thrown away down the stretch. An 11 shot disadvantage for the Cougars. No points by either team in the final 1:42.

In a game this ugly, was it really any surprise WSU came out on top?

Aron Baynes has 17 points and 11 rebounds to lead Washington State past Oregon State, 61-57.  The Cougs, once down 43-34, climbed back into the game late, tying on a Taylor Rochestie three-pointer with 3:47 left. Lathen Wallace made a three for the Beavers to regain the lead 50-47, but was immediately countered by Daven Harmeling's three to tie it up again at 50, with 1:42 left.

It was the last score of regulation. Taylor Rochestie had a chance at a game winner - a runner similar to the one he made last weekend against Stanford - but was too far out and threw up an airball over the rim. Oregon State's ensuing desperation halfcourt shot was short and the game headed into overtime.

There, the Cougs took over, outscoring OSU 8-3 to start the extra period. WSU finally sealed the deal through two Caleb Forrest free throws with nine seconds remaining.

Player of the Game - Baynes Baynes Baynes. 17 and 11, on 6 of 7 shooting and 5 of 5 free throws. Please just give him the rock. I can't emphasize this enough.

Play of the Game - Daven Harmeling's three to tie the game at 50 with 1:42 remaining. It was Daven's first made basket in Pac-10 play, and five games overall. I'm not joking. Welcome back, buddy.

Where did Casto go?

Making his first career start, DeAngelo Casto ended up with only six minutes. What happened? Two quick first half fouls sidelined Casto in the first half - not all that shocking. When WSU started the second half, DeAngelo was back, but quickly pulled after some defensive lapses. Again, not surprising for a freshman. What was surprising was that he never came back. Casto and fellow freshman Abe Lodwick were never heard from down the stretch.

Defensively, there was no reason to put DeAngelo back in, as the upperclassman-heavy lineup of Rochestie-Thompson-Harmeling-Forrest-Baynes carried much of the load down the stretch and in overtime. But Casto should have been in there to help alleviate the considerable offensive rebound advantage OSU had - 25.6% to 20%, and 8 to 5 overall. He also could've provided a spark for a still-struggling Cougar offense. WSU still managed only 16 points in the last 13:38, in what had to be the slowest nine-point comeback in the history of college basketball.

A reversal of fortune

Shooting certainly wasn't an issue for the Cougs tonight. WSU hit 70% of their shots in the first half and finished with an eFG% of 56.2%. Also present for the Cougs was an excellent free throw rate of 55% - converting on 16 of 22 chances from the charity stripe.

What was missing from the WSU offense was any sort of ball protection - a turnover rate of 25.4% leading to eleven more Beaver shots. Also troubling was a first half defense that surrendered 33 points. 33 points to an Oregon State team that scored 38 total points against Arizona State one week ago.

From freshmen back to upperclassmen

The freshman revival we thought was coming after the Stanford win? Well, it took a step back tonight. Days after winning with a three-freshman lineup (Thompson, Casto, Lodwick), the Cougars went to the seniors in this one. Baynes, Rochestie, Forrest and Harmeling were all key down the stretch. They're not ready to fade away just yet. The key will be finding ways to integrate the younger and older members of the squad successfully. Also key will be getting enough playing time for the freshmen that we can have depth as the season goes on.

Great call by Tony though to bring in Charlie Enquist in the first half. With Baynes and Casto in foul trouble, Tony got eight strong minutes out of the freshman, with one rebound and one block to show for it.  No major defensive breakdowns for the kid, either. At least none that I saw live.

Gassed Rochestie for Saturday?

Credit member BigWood (great handle, by the way) for being the first to point out that Taylor played 45 minutes tonight. That means he now has two days to rest up before the faster paced Ducks. He'll almost certainly be playing over 80 minutes this road trip. Can he still push through it and have a good game against Oregon?