Cougs Improve to 10-0 with Victory Over The Citadel
Dec. 20, 2007
SEATTLE (AP) - Aron Baynes scored 16 points, Daven Harmeling added 11 off the bench, and No. 7 Washington State easily routed The Citadel 67-45 on Thursday night, improving to 10-0 for the first time in 16 years.
Robbie Cowgill added nine points for the Cougars, who have just two more non-conference games - at Idaho State and against North Carolina A&T - before opening Pac-10 play back in Seattle on Jan. 5 against rival Washington.
The Citadel (4-6) became yet another exhibit for just how good the Cougars' defense can be. Kevin Durant, the Seattle SuperSonics' rookie sensation, sat in the first row and nodded with approval at the defensive effort.
Zach Urbanus and Cameron Wells both scored 14 to lead The Citadel, which shot just 33 percent.
The Bulldogs were undersized and overmatched from the start, unable to establish any offensive consistency. Washington State held The Citadel scoreless for the first 6:15 of the game and the final 6:58 of the first half. The Bulldogs were fortunate to be within 15 at halftime only because of hitting four 3-pointers in the first half, many of them from beyond the NBA's 3-point line.
That's how overwhelming the Cougars' defense was. The Citadel's best offense was often a rushed 3-point attempt taken well behind the NBA line on the Key Arena court.
If the first half wasn't impressive enough, Washington State then held the Bulldogs without a point for 7 minutes of the second half, allowing coach Tony Bennett to empty his bench for the final 10 minutes.
The Cougars are now 3-0 in their annual game in Seattle.
The Bulldogs' strategy of tossing up deep 3-pointers anytime they were given the slightest bit of space worked for a while. The Bulldogs scored 13 straight points midway through the first half to pull even at 13-all. Phillip Pandak finally got The Citadel on the board with a 27-foot 3-pointer with 13:45 left in the first half. Quickly, the game was even and Washington State coach Tony Bennett shook his head in the huddle throughout a timeout.
But Washington State closed the first half on a 20-5 run, as the Cougars' inside size advantage was simply too much for the overmatched Bulldogs. Baynes and Cowgill combined for 20 points and 13 rebounds in the first half.
The Cougars started the second half much the same, outscoring the Bulldogs 19-4 over the first 9 minutes to open a 30-point lead.