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Fast finish lifts Washington State past Gonzaga

Dec 6, 2006 - 5:34 AM PULLMAN, Washington (Ticker) -- Gonzaga might have got caught looking ahead.

Derrick Low scored 22 points and Daven Harmeling added 20 as Washington State used a furious finish to post a 77-67 victory over No. 18 Gonzaga.

With a showdown coming up on Saturday against undefeated Washington, the Bulldogs (8-2) got sideswiped by the Cougars, who used a 14-1 closing run to pull out the upset.

"We did a very poor job of defending them in the last five minutes," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. "They deserve a lot of credit. They made shots and a lot of them were late in the shot clock."

Washington State (8-1) is 73-3 at home against non-conference foes in the past 16 seasons, but two of those losses came from Gonzaga.

It appeared Gonzaga might make it three when Josh Heytvelt hit two free throws and followed with a layup to give the Bulldogs a 66-63 lead with 4:00 left.

But Kyle Weaver hit a pair of free throws and Harmeling buried a 3-pointer to give the Cougars the lead for good, 68-66, with 3:00 remaining.

After the teams traded free throws, Low converted a three-point play on a driving layup and Harmeling buried another shot from the arc to push the advantage to 75-67 with 47 seconds to go.

Washington State did every right in the second half. Trailing, 41-35, at halftime, the Cougars opened with a 14-6 run, including 3-pointers by Weaver and Low, to move ahead, 49-47, with 13:06 to go.

Derek Raivio hit a 3-pointers and Heytvelt added six points in a 9-0 run to reclaim the advantage for Gonzaga, 56-49.

Washington State kept coming from behind because of its 3-point shooting. The Cougars made 11-of-23 shots from the arc overall and hit eight in the second half to overtake the Bulldogs.

"A lot of credit for this win goes to my dad," said Washington State coach Tony Bennett, who took over the team this season from his father, Dick. "He laid the foundation for this program. He is having hip surgery Thursday and he told me before the game it would be a nice present to have a win before he has it.

"We saw each other after the game and it was a special moment for me."

Heytvelt scored 22 points and Raivio finished with 21, including five 3-pointers, for the Bulldogs, which were held to 26 points in the second half.

"I told our guys this is why they came here, to play in front of a big crowd on our home floor," Bennett said. "The key to the win was holding them to 26 points in the second half."

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    GONZAGA (18) 41 26 67

    Dec 6 12:05 AM

    GONZAGA (18) 41

    Dec 5 10:59 PM