Cougars Beat Portland State 72-60 to Remain Undefeated

Dec. 9, 2007

PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) -- Aron Baynes was 9-for-9 from the field and scored 23 points as No. 8 Washington State beat stubborn Portland State 72-60 on Sunday to remain undefeated.

The Cougars (9-0) are off to their best start since the 1991-92 team opened 12-0. The Cougars shot 72 percent in the first half and 65 percent for the game.

Deonte Huff led Portland State (6-4) with 18 points. Jeremiah Dominguez added 15 points for the Vikings, who made nine 3-pointers to stay close.

Portland State, which lost 69-48 at No. 7 UCLA in its season opener, was much more competitive in this game against a Pac-10 opponent, staying within five points deep into the second half.

Washington State had outscored opponents by 112 points in the second half coming into the game, but they couldn't mount any major runs against Portland State of the Big Sky Conference.

Portland State trailed by seven points at halftime, but consecutive baskets by Huff and Dominguez cut the deficit to 37-35.

Taylor Rochestie's 3-pointer and Baynes' fifth dunk rebuilt a 42-35 lead for Washington State.

But the Vikings hung around, and a basket by Huff and 3-pointer by Alex Teifenthaler cut Washington State's lead to 49-45 with 10:47 left.

Washington State gradually built a 15-10 run, mostly on free throws, for a 64-55 lead with 3:19 left. The Cougars were able to break the Vikings' pressure and run out the clock.

Portland State took a lead in the first half, but Washington State scored seven straight points, with Nikola Koprivica's 3-pointer giving the Cougars a 17-16 lead.

Portland State regained the lead on Kyle Costen's 3-pointer with 9:25 left, and the teams traded baskets and the lead for the next five minutes.

Washington State closed the first half on a 12-2 run -- six of the points by Baynes -- and scored the final eight points of the half to take a 35-28 lead. Baynes had 12 points in the half.

The Cougars made 16 of 22 field goals in the first half (72.7 percent), while Portland State was shooting 40 percent. The Vikings finished at 40 percent for the game.

Washington State leads the series 6-0.

Portland State is 4-38 against Pac-10 teams.

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