Baynes, Washington State sink Eastern WashingtonNov 10, 2007 - 7:03 AM PULLMAN, Washington (Ticker) -- Center Aron Baynes scored 15 points to lead a balanced attack as No. 10 Washington State eased past Eastern Washington, 68-41, in its season opener on Friday.
Derrick Low added 14 points and Robbie Cowgill 13 for the Cougars, who are coming off a school-record 26-win season and an NCAA Tournament appearance.
Eastern Washington didn't figure to challenge its intrastate rival, particularly after sophomore scoring machine Rodney Stuckey headed to the NBA in April, where he was drafted No. 15 overall by the Detroit Pistons.
Low jump-started Washington State at the beginning, scoring 11 first-half points to help the Cougars build a 31-19 cushion at the break. His 3-pointer with 8:46 to play gave the Cougars a 24-11 lead.
Washington State removed any suspense at the outset of the second half, opening with a 10-0 run to push the margin to 41-19 on a basket by Cowgill with 16:15 to play.
"We were able to get a lot of guys minutes and we came out of the game healthy," Cougars coach Tony Bennett said.
A 6-10, 270-pound junior, Baynes had nine of his 15 points in the second half as the Cougars held an opponent to its fewest points in an opener since 1948.
"I don't think it was Washington State's defense in the second half as much as it was our defense," Eastern Kentucky coach Kirk Earlywine said. "We caved in. We tried to catch ourselves after that, but they did what a good and experienced team does.
"They kept their foot right on our throat and didn't give us a chance to get back in it or show a sign of life. We didn't squeeze them at all."
Guard Milan Stanojevic tried to keep the Eagles close by scoring nine of his 11 points in the first half. He was the only play in double figures for Eastern Washington (0-1), which shot 29.5 percent (13-of-44) from the floor.
Baynes shot 6-for-9, helping the Cougars connect at an even 50 percent (26-of-52) for the game.
"I thought it was a solid start," Bennett said. "I liked our effort defensively."
- NCAA BB
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
EASTERN WASH 19 22 41
WASHINGTON ST (10) 31 37 68 FINAL
Nov 9 11:17 PM
- NCAA BB
EASTERN WASH 19
(10) WASHINGTON ST 31 HALFTIME
Nov 9 10:19 PM
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