Washington State eases past Oregon StateFeb 15, 2008 - 5:15 AM CORVALLIS, Oregon (Ticker) -- Washington State found the perfect tonic to help turn around its struggles.
Taylor Rochestie scored 24 points to lead the 20th-ranked Cougars to a 70-57 victory over Oregon State in the Pac-10 Conference on Thursday.
Derrick Low added 21 points for Washington State (19-5, 7-5 Pac-10), which has now won two straight following a three-game skid. The Cougars had lost five of their previous nine contests.
Punchless Oregon State (6-18, 0-12) staggered to its 14th consecutive defeat and remained the only winless team in conference play.
"At this stage of the year, it's not about your opponent, it's about how you play the game and earlier we did not do that," Washington State coach Tony Bennett said. "We came out flat, but we battled back and made some plays."
Lathen Wallace scored 13 points for the Beavers, who have scored more than 63 points just twice during the skid and have not won since December 19 at home against Northern Colorado.
Once again, a lack of scoring victimized Oregon State, which has lost six consecutive home games and fell to 0-6 under Kevin Mouton, who replaced the fired Jay John last month.
"It doesn't weigh on me, personally. I don't think that it weighs on anybody," said Beavers guard Rickey Claitt of the losing. "Our shots aren't falling and when your shots don't fall, you have to play defense. We can't let a team score 70 points on us. We have to get stops and not put them at the free throw line.
"They shot 35 free throws. You can't let anybody shoot 35 free throws and expect to win a game."
Rochestie hit three 3-pointers and combined with Low for 17 first-half points to help the Cougars take a 29-21 lead at the intermission.
Washington State scored the first five points of the second half to open a 13-point lead before Omari Johnson connected on a hook shot for Oregon State with 17:13 to play in the game - its first field goal in 9:52.
"It was tough getting a rhythm," Mouton said. "There were some things that we did in the second half that we didn't do in the first half. We went a spurt in the first half when we didn't score for six minutes. I think we just scored one field goal, which hurt us. You can't go six, seven minutes and only get a field goal."
The Beavers rallied to get within 37-31 on a 3-pointer by Wallace, but Low answered from the arc and Rochestie scored on a layup to restore the lead to 42-31 with 12:45 to play.
Oregon State never got closer than eight points thereafter.
"That's our 19th victory and last time I checked, Washington State hasn't been doing that too often," Bennett said. "But, we are very grateful and very thankful to come away with a win and we are going to keep on playing."
- NCAA BB
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
WASHINGTON ST (20) 29 41 70
OREGON ST 21 36 57 FINAL
Feb 14 10:42 PM
- NCAA BB
(20) WASHINGTON ST 29
OREGON ST 21 HALFTIME
Feb 14 9:33 PM
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