Washington 64 - Washington State 62
LAS VEGAS — Basketball coaches famously preach that beating a team three times in one season is a tall order. Beating your rival three times in the same season? Even tougher.
Washington, the No. 6 seed at this Pac-12 Tournament, capped an Apple Cup season sweep by defeating the No. 11 seed Washington State Cougars 64-62 Wednesday at MGM Grand Garden Arena. At one point, the Huskies (17-14, 9-9 Pac-12) made the feat look easy - opening up a 19-point lead with 15 minutes to play and dunking with ease in transition. But coach Ken Bone's team wouldn't go quietly. Just when most in the building had written off the Cougars, they cued a 15-0 run, eight of which came from senior star Brock Motum. Washington sophomore Desmond Simmons curbed the blitz with a jumper, the Huskies' only field goal in the final 8:35.
"That's not the first time we've played against Washington State and the game [ended up] something like that," Romar said. "Regardless of how the game starts, it always comes out that way." "Up 19, you just have to keep playing. It's the hardest thing when you're up 20 and you have so much time left," senior guard Abdul Gaddy said. "You get in this chill mode. I tried to tell the guys to keep playing and they got hot. When they tied the game, the main thing was to calm ourselves and get the best shot available. Coach calmed everyone down and drew up a play. He was confident in us."
Motum finished with 28 points despite picking up his third foul less than a minute into the second half. But when it mattered most, on the game's final possession, Motum was left asking for a foul call he wouldn't receive as his final attempt fell well short. "It's difficult to hold a player down that's as dominant as [Motum]," Romar said. "He's a heck of a basketball player and I thought he was playing his best basketball down the stretch." Washington State bids farewell to Motum and second-leading scorer Mike Ladd as the Cougars' season ends at 13-19 and 4-14 in conference play. The Huskies move on to the quarterfinals, where they face No. 3 seed Oregon Thursday at 8:30 p.m. PT on ESPNU. Game Photos (Eric Evans Photography): [gallery ids="1381,1332,1333,1383,1335,1334,1382,1331,1384,1385"]
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