Men's Basketball Polishes Off Cougars, 71-50
March 7, 1998
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) - Donald Watts scored 21 points as Washington surged early in the second half and went on to beat Washington State 70-51 on Saturday, strengthening the Huskies' bid for an NCAA berth.
Washington, which finished the regular season 18-9 and 11-7 in the Pac-10, hopes to receive its first NCAA berth since 1986 when pairings are announced Sunday.
The Cougars suffered their fourth consecutive loss to Washington and finished the year 10-19 overall and 3-15 in the Pac-10.
The Huskies, who finished fourth in the Pac-10, won despite getting just five points and six rebounds from Todd MacCulloch, who entered the game averaging 9.6 rebounds per game.
Washington took a 35-30 lead at the half and outscored the Cougars 13-3 early in the second half to take a 48-33 lead.
Watts later scored five straight points during a two-minute stretch to give the Huskies a 63-45 lead with 5:00 remaining. The Cougars got no closer than 16 points the rest of the way.
Washington also got 12 points from Thalo Green and 11 from Deon Luton.
Senior Carlos Daniel, playing in his final game for Washington State, finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds to record his conference-leading 13th double-double.
Steve Slotemaker had 10 points for Washington State, which shot just 36 percent from the field (21-for-58).
The Huskies, who were coming off a 95-94 defeat of then-No. 18 UCLA last weekend, have the longest absence from the NCAA tournament among Pac-10 schools.
Washington State, which lost for the 12th time in their last 14 games, suffered its second straight losing season after seeing post-season play four times from 1992-1996.
Washington State's last victory against Washington was Feb. 17, 1996, when the Cougars won in Pullman 76-66.