Cougars outlast Huskies in double overtime
Lorenzo Romar (AP)
Lorenzo Romar (AP)
Editor Dawgman.com
Posted Mar 8, 2008


PULLMAN, Wash. - It was everything an Apple Cup basketball showdown should have been; it had chills, thrills, a dramatic Jon Brockman spill late in the game, and the Washington State Cougars taking their heralded senior class out on a strong note with a 76-73 double-overtime victory over Washington Saturday at Friel Court.

With the loss, the Huskies (16-15, 7-11) finish Pac-10 play in eighth place and will play California at 6:04 p.m Wednesday in the first round of the conference tournament. The winner of that game will play top-seed UCLA Thursday. Washington State (23-7, 11-7) finished league play in a tie for third with USC, but beat the Trojans both times this season, so the Cougars will play the winner of the Arizona/Oregon game.

"We really want to get to the NCAA tournament," UW guard Justin Dentmon said after the game. "Cal is just one step to get to the NCAA tournament." The Huskies would need to win the tournament in order to receive a bid.

Kyle Weaver scored a game-high 20 points to lead the Cougars in his final home game, the seventh-straight win by WSU over Washington. Another senior - Derrick Low - chipped in 16 points. This was also the final home game for Robbie Cowgill, Chris Henry and Jeremy Cross.

Washington's Jon Brockman scored 17 points and collected 11 rebounds before spraining his ankle with 1:56 left in the second overtime and the Huskies down 73-70. Ryan Appleby added 16 and Quincy Pondexter 12 for the visitors.

"I turned it (ankle) over about as far as I could," Brockman said of his fall. "It still hurts pretty good." He added that the trainers have already started treatment to get his ankle ready to go for Wednesday's game against the Golden Bears.

"After 48 hours, we'll have a better idea," Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar said of Brockman's condition. "We'll see."

With Brockman out and Quincy Pondexter and Joe Wolfinger gone with five fouls apiece, it was up to Ryan Appleby to shoot the Huskies out of trouble. He buried one long-range 3-pointer with 42.9 seconds left to bring Washington to within three points, and had a chance at the end of the game to tie but had little chance to look at the basket before unloading his final shot of the night.

The ball found the back iron, ricocheted toward the WSU student section and the game was over.

"The pass got deflected, so I just had to throw it up at the end because we didn't have a lot of time," Appleby said of the game-tying shot.

"They are talking about this (Washington State) senior class as the most celebrated in their history - in terms of production," Romar said. "There was a lot of emotion on Senior Day. It was a built-in factor."

"I'm kind of spent right now," Washington State Head Coach Tony Bennett said afterward. "What I kept telling those guys in the huddle was you're going to make this one of the greatest memories if you can get this one, the way it was playing out. In the locker room after, I told them they weren't going to forget this game. What a memory they created for everyone. It's a special group going out."

Another one of the Cougar seniors, Cowgill, made Washington pay twice when the visitors had a chance to win the game in regulation and the first overtime. The 6-foot-10 center from Austin, Texas was able to corral a loose ball on their offensive end and score a game-tying layin at 58 with 14 seconds left in the second half.

When Washington tried to use the final seconds of regulation to put together a game-winning play, senior Weaver stole the ball from Dentmon but couldn't get to the basket in enough time for a layin, so he tried a runner that banged off the back iron.

"I dribbled it off my leg," Dentmon said of the Weaver steal. "I thought I got grabbed. All I was hoping is that he didn't make it."

In the first overtime, the Huskies put together two 3-point leads, both erased by Taylor Rochestie bombs. And with four seconds, Cowgill again found himself underneath Washington's bucket with the ball. He cooly laid the ball in to tie the game at 67.

"That was like someone stabbing you in the heart right there," Appleby said of Cowgill's baskets. "Those are tough to take."

Washington freshman guard Venoy Overton had just a few seconds to try and muster up a play at the end of the first overtime, but was stripped of the ball by Weaver. "I did (get fouled), but it didn't matter," Overton said of the play. "It wasn't the difference in the game."

"I am proud of our team," Romar said. "One wart on our game tonight was the 22 turnovers. That probably cost us the game. Aside from that, I was very proud of our team. There were times where we could have folded mentally, and we didn't."

"I thought we went and won this game," Bennett said. "I don't think Washington lost it. They got in foul trouble, but they're good, that's our league. It's so balanced and so tough. We finished third and in a league like this as much as you want to in it, that's very solid. Now we have to keep trying to play thge best gall we can going into the Pac-10 and NCAA tournaments."
Statistics:
Points: Brockman 17, Appleby 16, Pondexter 12, Bryan-Amaning 7, Overton 5, Dentmon 5, Wallace 4, Morris 4, Wolfinger 3
Minutes: Brockman 38, Overton 35, Appleby 34, Morris 33, Bryan-Amaning 26, Dentmon 25, Pondexter 21, Wallace 18, Wolfinger 17, Smith 3
Rebounds: Brockman 11, Overton 7, Bryan-Amaning 6, TEAM 6, Morris 5, Pondexter 5, Wallace 2, Appleby 2, Wolfinger 2, Dentmon 1
Assists: Overton 6, Morris 5, Dentmon 1, Wolfinger 1
Steals: Pondexter 2, Overton 1, Morris 1, Appleby 1, Bryan-Amaning 1
Blocks: Brockman 1, Morris 1



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