for this game

Low lifts Washington State past Arizona State

Feb 22, 2008 - 7:09 AM PULLMAN, Washington (Ticker) -- Clamping down on the defensive end, No. 19 Washington State pulled out its fourth straight victory.

Derrick Low scored 15 points as the Cougars hung on for a 59-47 victory over Arizona State on Thursday in a Pacific 10 Conference battle.

Aron Baynes added 10 points for Washington State (21-5, 9-5 Pac-10), which forced its way to the free throw line 24 times - converting 17 attempts.

"We (won) this game without a doubt with our defense," Cougars coach Tony Bennett said. "You are going to have to make stops and make it harder for them."

The Cougars allowed the Sun Devils only five field goals in the second half - just one in the final 7:45 - and held them to 2-of-14 shooting from the arc after the break.

"Kyle (Weaver) did a really nice job on James Harden," Bennett said of his senior guard, who held Arizona State's star player to 10 points on 3-of-11 shooting.

"We tried to pinch the gaps and call it wall ball ... Kyle did a good job on him. I thought it got better as the game went on."

Arizona State (16-9, 6-7) pulled to within 45-43 when James Harden knocked down three free throws with 5:31 left to play. But Washington State yielded just four points the rest of the way and converted 11-of-14 free throws in the final 5:08 to seal the win.

The Cougars jumped out to a 19-12 lead mid way through the first half after Low scored four straight points on a layup and a pair of free throws. The senior guard scored 10 points in the first 10:30 of the contest.

The Sun Devils used a 14-7 run to knot the game at 26-26 with 2:49 left before the break, knocking down four 3-points during the spurt.

But Washington State scored the last four points of the half to take a 30-26 lead into the locker room. The Cougars shot 52 percent (12-of-23) from the floor in the opening 20 minutes despite a 1-of-5 effort from Taylor Rochestie.

The junior guard had totaled 45 points in wins at Oregon and Oregon State last week, but managed to shoot 1-of-10 against Arizona State.

Washington State will try to push its winning streak to five on Saturday against Arizona, which handed the Cougars a 76-64 defeat on January 24.

"It should be a good game for us," Baynes said. "We've got a few things to go back and work on, but we don't want to get swept by any team in the Pac-10. We're going to try and come out with some aggression."