for this game

Low, Washington St. clip rival Washington

Feb 15, 2007 - 9:00 AM SEATTLE (Ticker) -- Derrick Low helped Washington State avoid a major pitfall.

Low scored all five of his second-half points down the stretch as No. 11 Washington State held on for its fifth straight win with a 65-61 victory over intrastate rival Washington in a Pac-10 Conference clash.

Taylor Rochestie scored a season-high 16 points, Low 12 and Ivory Clark added 10 for the Cougars (22-4, 11-3 Pac-10), who became just the second ranked team to win here in the Huskies' last 11 matchups with top-25 foes.

Washington State also recorded a milestone, reaching 22 wins for the first time since 1991-92, when it received an invitation to the NIT berth. Sitting just one game behind UCLA in the conference standings, this edition definitely has its sights set on the first NCAA Tournament berth since 1993-94.

All of the success has surely excited coach Tony Bennett, who is in his first season succeeding his father, Dick.

"Yeah I am, but all of that is reserved for the end of the year when you really do it," he said. "We have to stay focused, and yes it is exciting to be in the hunt. That is big time; there is no question about that.

"Our kids are enjoying it, and we are trying to enjoy it too, but you don't think about it."

Although Washington came into the contest 15-1 here this season, Washington State was the aggressor, taking a 40-32 lead at the half behind 61 percent (17-of-28) shooting.

That advantage stood up until the Huskies (16-9, 6-8) put together a 10-4 run behind stellar freshman Spencer Hawes. The 7-0 center scored eight points during the burst, including a layup for a 58-57 lead with 5:35 to play.

"In the second half, I thought our guys really competed," Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said. "Washington State is a very good basketball team, a well-oiled machine, and they capitalize on every mistake that you make.

"I still was proud of our effort and, again, if we continue in these last few games to put forth that type of effort, we can hold our heads up high. Jon Brockman and Spencer Hawes were dynamic, they were very, very good tonight."

Daven Harmeling answered back with a jumper for the Cougars and, two possessions later, Low hit one of his two 3-pointers for a 62-58 edge with 4:03 remaining.

"I thought Derrick Lowe was very patient - he didn't force anything," Romar said. "Their guards are very good and it was a factor, especially in the first half."

Justin Dentmon came back with a shot of his own from the arc, but Washington then missed its final eight shots from the field to fall short.

Low had two free throws with 17 seconds left and Robbie Cowgill split a pair with seven ticks to go after being fouled by Brockman fighting for a defensive rebound to seal the win for Washington State.

A sophomore guard, Rochestie finished 6-of-9 from the field with two 3-pointers en route to scoring in double figures for the first time this season.

"Taylor had a real nice performance," Bennett said. "All-around he did a pretty good job - obviously he scored, but he has the ability to guard and keep the guy in front of him."

Kyle Weaver added nine points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals for Washington State, which swept the season series for the second straight year.

Hawes scored 10 of his 22 points in the second half for the Huskies, whose poor shooting enabled the snapping of their five-game home winning streak. They finished 38 percent (21-of-56) from the field, and 14-of-21 (67 percent) on free throws.

Brockman had 15 points and tied a career high with 14 rebounds to help out Hawes, but third- and fourth-leading scorers Quincy Pondexter and Dentmon were major culprits in Washington's poor shooting, combining for just 13 points on 3-of-16 from the field.

The duo came in averaging a combined 22.3 points.

"Some of it was just good defense by Washington State and also there were a few lapses on our part throughout that game," Romar said about the lack of offense. "There was a stretch where we came down and maybe had questionable shot selection and turned the ball over, and I think that stretch might have been as important as any stretch in the game because they did not distance themselves from us at any point during that period."