Heytvelt scores; Gonzaga snaps losing streak vs. Washington St.

PULLMAN, Wash. -- For more than 20 minutes, Washington State imposed its slowdown style on No. 4 Gonzaga and trailed by just one point.

Then Josh Heytvelt scored 11 points as Gonzaga went on a 27-2 run over a 10-minute span and coasted to a 74-52 victory Wednesday night.

"We had to force our will upon them," said Jeremy Pargo, who had 11 points and 10 assists for Gonzaga (7-0), which broke a two-game losing streak to its regional rival. "We had to force them to play our ball."

When that happened, it was no contest.

Washington State (6-3) trailed 32-31 in the opening seconds of the second half. Then Gonzaga's pressure defense and fast break forced the Cougars into six turnovers and 2-of-11 shooting over the next 10 minutes.

"If we don't take care of the ball, against a team like Gonzaga we have little or no chance," Washington State coach Tony Bennett said.

Heytvelt finished with 22 points, while Austin Daye added 14 for Gonzaga, which shot 47 percent from the field.

"They were a little slow in the second half," said Heytvelt, who grew up nearby in Clarkston. "We had more fire and desire."

Heytvelt won the anticipated showdown with Washington State center Aron Baynes, who took only three shots, although he made them all and finished with 10 points. Heytvelt credited Gonzaga's perimeter defense.

"They weren't letting the wings throw the ball into him," Heytvelt said.

All three of Washington State's losses have been to ranked teams, including Pittsburgh and Baylor. The Cougars fell to 1-73 all-time against top 5 teams, beating Oregon State in 1980.

Freshman DeAngelo Casto added 10 points for Washington State, but point guard Taylor Rochestie continued his slump, scoring six points on 2-of-11 shooting, with no assists. He was most disappointed in the defense.

"We played selfish basketball," Rochestie said. "Our defense was disrespectful to our coaching staff."

Gonzaga scored 15 straight points to build a 47-31 lead. Heytvelt, limited to nine minutes and five points in the first half because of foul trouble, had six points in that run.

After Baynes finally scored for Washington State on a goaltending call, Gonzaga scored 12 straight points -- for a 27-2 run -- to take a 59-33 lead with 11 minutes left. The Zags shot 10-of-16 in that span.

"We are like pound dogs, we like to run," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said.

"Everything we value we didn't do in the transition defense," said Bennett, whose young team came in allowing 45 points per game, 35 below what Gonzaga averages. "We've got a ways to go."

The game started as a defensive battle, and was tied at 13 with 10 minutes left in the first half.

The Zags took a 32-29 halftime lead, thanks to going 6-of-13 on 3-pointers. Washington State shot 32 percent in the first half, including 1-of-10 from 3-point range.

The Zags beat Oklahoma State, Maryland, No. 8 Tennessee and Indiana in their previous four games.

Washington State beat Gonzaga 51-47 in Spokane last December. Two years ago the Cougars won 77-67 in Pullman in a game that saw Washington State fans storm the court and launched the Cougars into the national spotlight.

Washington State, which lost to Baylor (No. 22 AP) last Saturday, has lost consecutive nonconference games at home for the first time since 1985-86, when it lost to Wisconsin and Nebraska.

The 22-point margin of defeat was the largest in Bennett's three years at Washington State.


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