Here's our game story. And some highlights:
Star of the game: Oregon guard Tajuan Porter led the Ducks' comeback attempt with 17 second-half points. He hit seven of 12 shots, including four 3-pointers and ended the night with 20 points, tied for game honors with teammate Malik Hairston.
Key stats: WSU outscored Oregon 34-24 in the paint. … Oregon committed 13 turnovers, WSU seven. … The Cougars shot 61.5 percent in the first half, 40.9 percent in the second. The Ducks shot 47.6 percent in the first half, 57.7 in the second.
Key run: Washington State guard Taylor Rochestie scored the game's first five points, igniting the Cougars' fast start that forced Oregon to play catch-up the whole way.
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Observations: This was the Cougars' third straight win over the Ducks after previously dropping 13 in a row. … The victory sends WSU to the Pac-10 tournament semifinals for the second consecutive season. The Cougs have never been to the finals. … This was Washington State's second-highest scoring output of the season, and their 42 points at halftime were a season high. …This was WSU coach Tony Bennett's 50th career victory.
Quotable: "You know, in this league the team that plays the best basketball wins. It's just so close and tightly contested that you have to play well, and if you play well and the other team is not on the top of their game you usually win it. Nobody's that dominant – maybe UCLA at times." – Bennett, on advancing in the tournament.
Next: Washington State meets Stanford in the tournament semifinals tonight. The Cardinal swept the Cougars during the regular season, winning 67-65 in Stanford, Calif., and 60-53 in Pullman. Oregon is eliminated and will learn its postseason fate on Sunday.
Other Thursday results: No. 4 Southern California 59, No. 5 Arizona State 55; No. 1 UCLA 88, No. 9 California 66; No. 2 Stanford 75, No. 7 Arizona 64.
Friday's schedule: 6 p.m. USC vs. UCLA; 8:30 p.m. Stanford vs. Washington State. Both games on FSN.
And now a few additional notes from the WSU sports information department:
WASHINGTON STATE NOTES
· Second-year WSU head coach Tony Bennett won the 50th game of his career…he is 50-15 (.769) in his two seasons with the Cougars.
· WSU improved to 154-118 all-time against Oregon…have won three-straight.
· Derrick Low moved into a tie for third place in the WSU season record books for 3-pointers made…he now has 81…the record is 89 set by Jan-Michael Thomas in 1999.
· WSU scored a season-high first half points with 42 points…previous high was 36 points against Idaho Nov. 16.
· Cougars improve to 4-8 all-time in the Pac-10 Tournament…2-1 against Oregon in the tourney.
· Derrick Low is averaging 20.8 points per game against the Ducks in the last five meetings (104 points coming into this game).