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Cougs stun Oral Roberts with explosive second half

(Photos from WSU Pullman by Shelly Hanks, WSU Photo Services; photos from NCAA game in Sacramento by Robert Hubner, WSU Photo Services.)

Trailing most of the first half, the WSU Cougars revved up their engines in the last three seconds of that period to come within two points of Oral Roberts. But once the second half started, it was Katie bar the door, as Ivory Clark and the Cougar team pushed the throttle to the floor and drove home a 70-54 win.

Ivory Clark slams in two

WSU faculty, staff and students watch ORU game at Beasley Coliseum on giant screen

Clark played stellar defense the whole game, rocketing above shooters to block five shots, and exploded in the second half to come in with 19 points for the game. Derrick Low, when not in foul trouble, lit up the basket with 12 points, with Taylor Rochestie nailing 15.

Derrick Low drives through traffic to a layup

The turning point came in the last few seconds of the first half when Kyle Weaver made a quick pivot in the back court to steal the ball as Oral Roberts threw it inbounds, he then drove it home with a slam dunk that lit up the crowd and left ORU stunned.

Kyle Weaver drives past ORU and down the lane

Coug supporters cheer at the Beasley

In Pullman, about 300 fans cheered throughout the game as they watched the matchup on a giant screen at Beasley Coliseum.

Weaver had 10 points, eight rebounds and four assists, as the Cougs won their first NCAA game in 24 years. (See related story on this site on “Catching up with past coaches.”) 

Daven Harmeling’s strong defense makes ORU work hard for any shots

The Cougars reached the tournament for the first time since current Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson led the school to the postseason in 1994 and a first-round loss to Boston College.

Despite the distance, supporters take up the Go Cougs! chant

On Saturday, WSU will play the Vanderbilt Commodores, which gave George Washington University a 77-44 drubbing in the first round.

WSU band boosts enthusiasm and Cougar support

Statistically, WSU shot 48% on two-point shots; 39% on three-point shots; 92% on free throws; and committed 16 fouls.

Weaver takes it up for two as ORU player looks on

ORU shot 36% on two-pointers; 29% on three-pointers; 63% on free throws; and committed 14 fouls.

Robbie Cowgill not to be denied moves in for shot

See related articles on the game at:

* ESPN http://scores.espn.go.com/ncb/recap?gameId=274000024

* The Seattle Times — Oral test aced, Cougars move on in tourney, http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/sports/2003620767_coug16.html
* The Seattle Post Intelligencer — Go 2 Guy: Mood brightens for Clark, Cougs, http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/moore/307762_moore16.html
* USA Today — http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/mensbasketball/pac10/wsu.htm
* ESPN — The ABC’s of WSU, http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?section=ncb&id=2797867

Other photos incude:

Aron Baynes in close for two

Robbie Cowgill

Taylor Rochestie looks to drive

Coach Tony Bennett shares the excitement

Cowgill cheers the team’s results… Now it’s on to Vanderbilt on Saturday, to be televised on CBS

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