THURSDAY, MARCH 12, 2009, 9:18 P.M.

WSU trails UCLA, 33-21 at half


Over the past few weeks, Washington State has avoided what has been its Achilles' heel all season, the long scoring drought. Well, it came back with a vengeance in the first half Thursday. Over almost 7 minutes early on the Cougars missed 12 consecutive shots. And UCLA took advantage, turning many of the misses into fast-break baskets and a 5-4 deficit into a 25-5 lead. At first, the misses were the result of just missing open looks. As the streak lengthened, it was because UCLA was taking WSU out of its offense, more precisely, speeding up the WSU offense. The Cougars got into the get-it-back-quick mode and that hasn't worked ever. Finally, the tide shifted, with UCLA's subs getting too quick offensively and WSU patient enough to get good looks. Slowly, and I mean that literally, the Cougars clawed back into it. Twice, WSU was within 11 and had chances to cut it further. But it didn't. Aron Baynes leads the Cougars with nine while Josh Shipp has eight for UCLA. We'll be back.

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Vince Grippi
Vince Grippi is a freelance local sports blogger for He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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