BY Todd Dybas 11:06PM 02/27/2011

One-week turnaround for Cougars

Washington State takes down Washington in Seattle just eight days after a woeful loss at Arizona State. It took a special motivator to help make it happen.

Washington State's Klay Thompson led all scorers with 26 points Sunday / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

It’s a mere eight days since the the debacle in the desert.

Washington State took a laissez-faire approach against Arizona State last Saturday and left the sunshine with an embarrassing loss.

During the week off, Washington State turned to multiple remedies prior to its 80-69 Sunday night thumping of Washington.

The team met with coach Ken Bone during the week. They met among themselves. They  went to the bullpen, bringing in Washington State baseball coach Donnie Marbut to inform them they were 300-thread-count soft.

That’s what Marbut told them, more or less. Toughen up or else.

“That’s what we needed, was someone to call us out,” Klay Thompson said.

Related: Photo gallery from Washington State’s win over Washington

Thompson’s game-high 26 points helped. As did crisp defense that held Washington to just 17 first-half points, a low for the Huskies under coach Lorenzo Romar.

Washington State withstood all circumstances Sunday:

The Huskies’ grasps at extra motivation prior to the game stemming from Cougars fans storming the court in Beasley Coliseum following the first win.

Playing in Hec Edmundson Pavilion, where Washington had not lost this season.

Holding it together when Washington cut the lead to six, 65-59, in front of a roaring arena.

After checking out at Arizona State, the Cougars were checked in Sunday as much as any point this season.

“We kind of slapped ourselves in the face when we lost to ASU,” DeAngelo Casto, 20 points and 13 rebounds, said. “We pushed ourselves against a wall. This is a team that is capable of a lot of things. But we’ve got to show up every game.”

It was less venue and opponent for Bone. The Cougars had tantalized, then tumbled over and over this season. Following verbal dismissal from the NCAA Tournament by all pundits after the ASU loss, the Cougars just needed a win. When asked if this was the biggest of the year, Bone paused.

“Yeah,” Bone said. “Especially the timing of it. We desperately needed it.”

Thompson left the locker room still bouncy from the game. He provided crucial 3-pointers and able passing following an atrocious personal start to the game.

He touched on intensity as reason for the win over Washington. Referenced the meetings, talked of focus. All factors. But he also added another.

“I think we have just as much talent if not more,” Thompson said.

The rest of the year is a question of maintenance for the Cougars (18-10, 8-8). Reggie Moore and Casto were each level-headed enough to say this win alone does not provide Washington State heavy consideration for the NCAA Tournament. That will only happen if Sunday becomes the norm instead of anomaly.

Though Washington State has at least one night to enjoy 2-0 against Washington.

“There’s no better feeling in basketball than winning in your rival’s gym and seeing their fans file out early,” Thompson said. “This is a great win, but we can’t get too high on ourselves.”

They’ve seen that result before.


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  • Sarah

    When are the commentators going to wake up and admit that WSU basketball is better than UW’s basketball team? Sure, they had a bad game to Arizona State, but a little respect from the home crowd goes a long way. Keep it up WSU! We are big fans.

  • Dave J

    Coug’s did a great job disrupting any flow the Dawgs could muster. Definately one of the sloppiest games I’ve seen. Kept hoping for UW to settle down, as they were clearly reacting too fast and in the wrong ways. I guess set plays are out of the question? They didn’t deserve to win and the Coug’s did. Nice coaching job – the student becomes the master.