Low scores 27 as WSU beats Oregon

PULLMAN, Wash. &

Now that No. 8 Washington State has defended its home court and finally beaten Oregon, it's time to hit the road.

Up next for the No. 8 Cougars: A trip to the Arizona schools as they try to win their first conference title since 1941.

The Cougars are tied with No. 4 UCLA and No. 22 Arizona State with 4-1 conference records. They play at Arizona on Thursday and at Arizona State on Saturday.

Washington State (16-1, 4-1) needed to come from behind to hold off Oregon 69-60 on Sunday night.

The Cougars' Taylor Rochestie went to the free-throw line with 42 seconds left and hadn't made a shot all night.

He sank both free throws for his first points and two more 18 seconds later to give Washington State the winning margin in a 69-60 victory that broke a 13-game losing streak to the Ducks.

The Cougars also climbed into a share of the Pacific-10 lead with UCLA and Arizona St.

"I just wanted a good chance to redeem myself," Rochestie said. "I was thinking about the players on the team and the coaching staff and the stats on when we play Oregon and haven't beaten them in so many games."

It was a night of redemption for this entire Washington State team, which had broken so many futility streaks in recent years. But no WSU team had beaten Oregon since 2001, perhaps the last major blemish in the rebuilding of the WSU program.

"I just wanted to get one win before I graduate, at least," said WSU's Derrick Low, who scored 27 points on 10 of 16 shooting.

For most of the game, it looked like Oregon (12-6, 3-3) was going to win again. The Ducks bolted to a 17-6 lead, and led 34-30 at halftime. But they shot just 36 percent in the second half, while WSU was making 52 percent.

"I said 'Settle down, get back in the game,'" Bennett said.

Malik Hairston's two free throws with 2:08 left gave the Ducks their last lead at 59-57.

Low's free throw and Kyle Weaver's layup gave WSU a 60-59 lead with 59 seconds left.

Hairston missed a shot from the top of the key, and Rochestie rebounded and was fouled. His free throws made it 62-59 for WSU with 42 seconds left, and forced Oregon to hurry.

Bryce Taylor missed a layup and Rochestie was fouled again, making both with 24 seconds left, and the Cougars pulled away at the free-throw line. They closed with a 12-1 run over the final 1:54.

The loss spoiled a 20-point, 13-rebound effort for Oregon's Maarty Leunen. Hairston finished with 14 points and Tajuan Porter 11.

Washington State (16-1, 4-1 Pac-10), the nation's top defensive team at 52 points per game, held Oregon to 21 points below its season average and to 44 percent shooting.

"Our team has nothing to hang our heads over," Oregon coach Ernie Kent said. "We may have had a few more turnovers, but other than that we executed perfectly."

"We need to play every team like we played WSU," Kent said.

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