San Diego State 54

(10-3, 3-2 away)

Washington St 64

(11-1, 8-0 home)

    10:30 PM ET, December 21, 2006

    KeyArena, Seattle, Washington

    1 2 T
    SDSU 33 2154
    WSU 23 4164

    Top Performers

    San Diego St: B. Heath 20 Pts, 4 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl

    Washington St: K. Weaver 16 Pts, 11 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Washington State 64, San Diego State 54

    SEATTLE (AP) -- Kyle Weaver went to coach Tony Bennett and asked for the chance to defend San Diego State's standout guard Brandon Heath.

    The request not only helped Washington State defensively, but ignited Weaver's offense as well.

    Weaver scored all 16 of his points in the second half, igniting a surge that carried the Cougars to a 64-54 win over San Diego State on Thursday night. The Cougars finished up the non-conference portion of their schedule 11-1, their best start since winning the first 12 games in 1991-92. Washington State opens Pac-10 Conference play next Thursday night at No. 1 UCLA.

    "Anytime you have to guard somebody like that, you have to be aggressive like that, it flips offensively too," Weaver said. "You have to be aggressive on offense."

    The Cougars got it done at both ends of the floor in the second half, rallying from a 33-23 halftime deficit and holding the Aztecs scoreless for a 10-minute stretch of the second half.

    Washington State took its cue from Weaver, who scored 10 points in the first 7:14 of the second half, then clamped down on Heath, the all-time leading scorer in the Mountain West Conference.

    Weaver's intensity was the catalyst for a 21-0 Washington State run. Derrick Low's runner with 13:20 left pulled the Cougars even at 37-all. On the Cougars' next possession Weaver was blocked, but stayed with the play, grabbed the loose ball and spun up a left-handed reverse layup to give Washington State its first lead since 15-13.

    "We just had some more scrap and we're not close to good enough if we don't play with our hair on fire or whatever," Washington State coach Bennett said of the second half. "They have to have that going for them on the defensive end or it's really hard for us."

    The Cougars lead continued to grow as Nikola Koprivica and Robbie Cowgill and Low all drilled 3-pointers. Weaver's two free throws with 6:41 left gave Washington State its biggest lead of 14 points. Ivory Clark capped the night by slamming home Low's missed drive with 1:10 left.

    Cowgill finished with a career-high 17 points and Koprivica added 11 as the Cougars shot 55 percent in the second half. Weaver also had 11 rebounds.

    "We had a little energy and we just fought like dogs," Weaver said.

    Heath led the Aztecs (10-3) with 20 points, but went 17 minutes of the second half without scoring, as Aztecs' coach Steve Fisher was denied his 300th career win. Fisher's next chance will be Dec. 30 when the Aztecs host Lafayette.

    Heath made a 3-pointer with 13 seconds left, but shot just 2 of 7 in the second half and got very little help from his teammates. Mohamed Abukar finally broke the Aztecs' scoring drought with a three-point play with 7:15 left. Abukar was the only other Aztec player in double figures with 12 points, but San Diego State shot only 45 percent, turned the ball over 20 times and was held 25 points under its season average.

    "We did a poor job from our end of being poised under pressure. When they made a run and made a couple shots, then we tried to do things too fast," Fisher said. "We turned it over, made passes that had no chance to be completed and took some shots that were ill-advised too."

    It was the second consecutive year the Cougars have played a home game at Seattle's KeyArena. Last year, Washington State beat Utah 69-42.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 54 64
    FG Made-Attempted 18-40 (.450) 24-57 (.421)
    3P Made-Attempted 5-13 (.385) 4-19 (.211)
    FT Made-Attempted 13-17 (.765) 12-16 (.750)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (0/0) 14 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 10 14

    2006-07 Season

    » Dec 21, 2006 @WSU 64, SDSU 54Recap