The Washington State University Cougar men's hoop team went down by as much as 10 points in the second half, but found an extra gallon of gas in their gas tanks and fended off a spirited Santa Clara upset bid, as Wazzu held off the Broncos, 85-79 in overtime in Santa Clara. With the victory, Wazzu improves to 8-1 overall.
Wazzu jumped out to their customary early lead, this time scoring the game's first five points, before Santa Clara came back to tie the contest at nine apiece. From there, the two teams locked in battle with neither team able to get more than a few buckets away from the other until late in the half when the Broncos went on a 7-0 run that gave Santa Clara a brief eight-point lead at 35-27 with 36 seconds left in the half before sophomore Brock Motum scored to send the Cougars into the locker room down by six at the break.
In the second half, Santa Clara withstood a pair of Cougar runs and held a 10-point lead with only 9:50 remaining in the game when Wazzu unloaded an 11-0 run on the Broncos - fueled mostly by free throws - in the next four minutes, to take a 61-60 lead. The teams never got more than three points apart the rest of the way in regulation and with 17 seconds left and Santa Clara leading by three, junior guard Klay Thompson buried a three pointer that sent the game into over time.
In the overtime period, Thompson and fellow junior DeAngelo Casto scored the bulk of the Cougars' points and Wazzu never trailed, with Thompson scoring the game's final points on a pair of free throws to seal the victory.
Four Cougars were in double digits in scoring, led by Thompson with 23 points and followed by Casto with 15, sophomore point guard Reggie Moore with 15 and junior Marcus Capers with 14 points. Casto had a double-double, leading Wazzu in rebounds with 10 boards.
- Thompson was 10-of-12 in the game from the charity stripe.
Washington State University next plays Mississippi State at noon on Wednesday, December 21, in Hawai'i
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