for this game

Washington State sneaks past Oregon State

Feb 25, 2007 - 5:28 AM CORVALLIS, Oregon (Ticker) -- Aron Baynes scored a career-high 14 points to lead Washington State past Pac-10 Conference foe Oregon State, 58-54.

Baynes, a 62 percent free-throw shooter, hit four foul shots in the last 90 seconds to seal the game for the Cougars.

Washington State (23-5, 12-4 Pac-10) trailed for most of the game until a pair from the stripe by Baynes gave the Cougars their first lead at 47-45 with 8:17 left in the second half.

"I think in the second half we played some very good hard-nosed basketball," Cougars coach Tony Bennett said. "Tournament-type basketball, because it was very physical, we were a little more patient on defense, and toughened up. In the first half they were getting lanes and penetration that caused some trouble."

After Oregon State guard Wesley Washington tied the game at 54-54 with a layup, Washington State's Mac Hopson nailed a jumper with 30 seconds left to give his team a 56-54 edge.

The Beavers then missed their chance to tie the game again when Baynes stole a pass with nine seconds to go and drained two more free throws to provide the winning margin.

"Every time I get on the floor I just put it all out there," Baynes said. "Tonight the guys found me and I was lucky enough to make some of the plays and knock down a few free throws."

"Aron Baynes changed their entire team, elevated their entire team, to this victory," Oregon State coach Jay John said. "Other guys did what they do, but Baynes won the game. Aron Baynes is a big strong guy. We gave him deep touches, which was a problem, and that got his confidence going. He is the reason Washington State won the game."

Bouncing back from a loss at Oregon on Thursday, Washington State has won six of its last seven games to remain in the mix for a Pac-10 regular-season championship.

UCLA clinched a share of the league title on Saturday but the Cougars kept alive a chance to tie the Bruins.

Oregon State (11-19, 3-14) took a 32-27 lead into the half behind 12 points from Marcel Jones. The Beavers shot 50 percent (11-of-22) in the first half.

The Cougars committed only six turnovers, the first time this season Oregon State didn't force at least 10.

Jones led the Beavers with 16 points.

"They are a good team," John said. "We are a good team, but we still have work to do."