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January 8, 2009
The Washington State University men's hoop team once again played a close game against a good opponent but once again, did not play the entire 40 minutes and WSU fell to the California Bears by the final score of 57-50 at Beasley Coliseum in Pullman.
Senior guard Taylor Rochestie led Wazzu with 19 points while true freshman Klay Thompson had 14 points - although only two of his points came in the second half.
The game began ugly for the Cougars as they went scoreless for the first five minutes of the game before Thompson hit a jumper for Wazzu's first score. Fortunately, the Cougar defense was stingy and the Bears were only able to score four points in the same time span. The Bears gradually built an 18-14 lead but the Cougars responded with a 5-0 run to re-take the lead, 19-18. From there, the two teams battled and were never separated by more than four points, with California finally seizing the halftime lead at 28-26.
In the second half, the Cougars immediately tied the game with a bucket from Rochestie, but the Bears gradually extended their lead to seven points at 42-35, midway through the second half. The Cougars tried valiantly to stay close and pulled within four on a jumper from junior Nikola Koprivica at 51-47 with 2:23 remaining, but the Bears kept them at bay for the remainder of the game.
Senior center Aron Baynes led the Cougars with seven rebounds.
Wazzu's next game is against Stanford at 7 pm on Saturday, January 10 at Beasley Coliseum in Pullman.
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