No. 9 Washington State uses second half surge to beat the Broncos
BOISE, Idaho (AP) -Derek Low scored 26 points and Kyle Weaver had 19 to lead No. 9 Washington State on a second-half comeback and a 86-74 victory over Boise State on Tuesday night.
The Cougar tandem combined to shoot 10-of-12 in the first 8 1/2 minutes of the second half, when Washington State (2-0) quickly erased a six-point halftime deficit. The Cougars outscored the Broncos 33-12 during that stretch and coasted the rest of the way.
Washington State also got 18 points from Daven Harmeling, who scored the Cougars' final eight points in the first half that helped cut a 12-point Boise State (1-1) lead in half before the break.
The Cougars shot 56.3 percent for the game, made 9-of-19 from 3-point range and committed just 11 turnovers, with only three coming in the second half.
Anthony Thomas led the Broncos with 18 points and three assists, and Reggie Larry had 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Boise State, trying to avenge a last-minute loss against Washington State last season, played inspired basketball early. At one point, the Broncos led 21-8, thanks to cold Cougar shooting and some careless ballhandling that led to easy Bronco layups on the other end.
Thomas, who had 13 points in the first half, set the tone for the Broncos early, scoring nine in the first 10 minutes. Twice he stepped in front of Cougar passes and raced down the court for easy baskets, and his 3-pointer at the 10:58 mark put the Broncos up 19-8.
But the second half was a different story for a Cougar team that returns four starters from a team that won 26 games last season.
Led by Low and Weaver, the Cougars clamped down defensively and missed only a handful of shots during the first 10 minutes. Low, who only had two points in the first half, converted a three-point play and hit three 3-pointers in the first four minutes, his final one tying the score at 41 with 16:15 to go. Low was 5-for-9 from behind the arc.
After Aron Baynes sank a pair of free throws, Weaver scored on consecutive possessions, each time driving the lane aggressively, to put the Cougars up 48-41 at the 14-minute mark.
Washington State, which has only lost twice when trailing at the half since Tony Bennett took over as coach last season, made it look easy the rest of the way, improving to 4-2 overall against Boise State.
The defense forced six turnovers in the early minutes of the half and frustrated the Broncos into poor shots. On offense, the Cougars shot 61.5 percent in the second half and hit 6-of-10 3-pointers that helped maintain double digit leads throughout the final 12 minutes.
The Cougars also got 12 points and seven assists from Taylor Rochestie.
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