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January 17, 2009

Wazzu Perfect Against Ducks

Wazzu was perfect against the Oregon Ducks on Saturday morning in Eugene - a Pac-10 record perfect 28-for-28 from the free throw line, that is - and senior guard Taylor Rochestie tossed in a career-high 30 points to lead the Cougars to a comfortable 74-62 victory over the Ducks. Win the win, Wazzu is on a three-game win streak and improves to 11-6 overall and 3-2 in conference play.

Rochestie led a trio of Cougars in double figures as senior center Aron Baynes and freshman guard Klay Thompson joined him with 19 and 15 points, respectively.


Oregon scored the first bucket of the game but Thompson tied it on the Cougars' next possession and when "Big Daddy" Baynes hit for a 4-2 lead, Wazzu never trailed again. Freshman DeAngelo Casto, on an assist from senior Daven Harmeling, threw down a jam for an 11-6 lead and then the Cougars went cold for the next four minutes, allowing Oregon to stay close. But clinging to a slim 18-17 lead, Wazzu then ended the first half with a 6-0 run to take a 24-17 margin into the locker at halftime.

The Cougars opened the second half with Baynes and Casto missing three close range shots in the Wazzu's first possessions, allowing the Ducks to close the gap to three at 24-21. But Thompson hit a trey to stem the tide and when Oregon head coach Ernie Kent picked up the first of his two technical fouls, Rochestie buried the free throws as part of 19-5 Cougar run that gave them their largest lead of the game at 43-26. During the run, Kent was ejected from the game after picking up his second technical while protesting to an official. Shortly afterward, Baynes hit the first three-pointer of his career on a controversial play involving the shot clock. The Ducks were unable to get closer than nine points the rest of the way and from three minutes on, it became a free-throw shooting contest for Rochestie, Baynes, Thompson and Casto as the Cougars scored 18 consecutive points on free throws in compiling their impressive team free throw shooting percentage for the game.

"Big Daddy" Baynes also led the game in rebounds with 12 boards - for back-to-back double-doubles - had three blocks while Rochestie had seven assists and Thompson had three steals.

Wazzu's next game is against UCLA at 6 pm on Thursday, January 22 at Beasley Coliseum in Pullman.




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