for this game

Baynes leads Washington State past Portland State

Dec 10, 2007 - 5:57 AM PULLMAN, Washington (Ticker) -- Coming off its biggest win of the season, Washington State did not find things any easier against Portland State on Sunday.

Aron Baynes made all nine of his shots and scored 23 points as the sixth-ranked Cougars held off the Vikings, 72-60, at the Wallis Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum.

"Our big guys Robbie and Aron the last three games have really provided a huge spark for us," Cougars coach Tony Bennett said. "Our offense bailed us out tonight more than the defense did on Wednesday, and I guess you take it any way you can get it."

The Cougars junior center was 5-of-5 in the first half and ended the game with nine rebounds. But Baynes did not have a perfect night, as he connected on 5-of-6 from the foul line.

In its first game since Washington State (9-0) defeated No. 19 Gonzaga on the road on Wednesday, the Cougars could never put away Portland State.

The Vikings trailed by seven points at the half but cut the deficit to 49-45 with under 11 minutes to play.

But Kyle Weaver scored eight of his 10 points in the final 5:36 of the contest as Washington State took its first double-digit lead at 67-57 with 2:07 remaining.

Robbie Cowgill had 15 points and Nikola Koprivica added 12 for the Cougars, who shot 65 percent (26-of-40) for the game.

"When you shoot that kind of percentage, if your defense is right you shouldn't be struggling as much as we were," Bennett said.

Washington State shot 73 percent (16-of-22) in the first half and went on an 8-0 run to take a 35-28 lead at the break after trailing for most of the first half. Baynes, Cowgill and Koprivica combined for 31 points in the first half on 14-of-15 shooting.

Deonte Huff scored 18 points and Jeremiah Dominguez added 15 for the Vikings (6-4), who had their three-game winning streak snapped and dropped to 0-6 all-time against Washington State.