Strong Second Half The Difference For Cougars In Win

Dec. 21, 2006

SEATTLE (AP) - Kyle Weaver ignited a second-half surge with all 16 of his points, and Washington State improved upon its best start in 15 years with a 64-54 win over San Diego State on Thursday night.

The Cougars finished up the non-conference portion of their schedule 11-1, their best start since winning the first 12 games in 1991-92. Washington State opens Pac-10 Conference play next Thursday night at No. 1 UCLA.

Brandon Heath led San Diego State (10-3) with 20 points, but went 17 minutes of the second half without scoring, as Aztecs' coach Steve Fisher was denied his 300th career win. Fisher's next chance will be Dec. 30 when the Aztecs host Lafayette.

Weaver scored 10 points in the first 7:14 of the second half, and was the spark for a 21-0 Washington State run during a 10-minute stretch as the Cougars rallied from a 33-23 halftime deficit. Derrick Low's runner with 13:20 left pulled the Cougars even at 37-all. On the Cougars' next possession Weaver was blocked, but stayed with the play, grabbed the loose ball and spun up a left-handed reverse layup to give Washington State its first lead since 15-13.

The lead continued to grow as Nikola Koprivica and Robbie Cowgill and Low all drilled 3-pointers. Weaver's two free throws with 6:41 left gave Washington State its biggest lead of 14 points. Ivory Clark capped the night by slamming home Low's missed drive with 1:10 left.

Cowgill finished with a career-high 17 points and Koprivica added 11. Weaver also had 11 rebounds.

The Aztecs struggled to make a shot or hold on to the ball. San Diego State went more than 10 minutes of the second half without scoring, with Mohamed Abukar finally breaking the drought with a 3-point play with 7:15 left.

Heath scored 13 in the first half, but managed only 2-for-7 shooting in the second half.

San Diego State was held 25 points below its season average. Abukar added 12 for the Aztecs.

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