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TUESDAY, MARCH 17, 2009, 9:59 P.M.

WSU falls 68-57 to St. Mary’s

It was, after all, Patty Mills' day. Even if he is from Australia, not Ireland, and wears the blue of St. Mary's. The Gaels' 6-foot guard, in only his fourth game back from a broken wrist that cost him five weeks – and may have cost St. Mary's an NCAA berth - had his way with Washington State, scoring 27 points and blunting every Cougar second-half rally in the Gaels' 68-57 NIT first-round victory at McKeon Pavilion. Mills wasn't alone, as 6-7 forward Diamon Simpson added 18 points and 11 rebounds, including six on the offensive end. And 6-10 center Omar Samhan, saddled with foul trouble, still had 11 points – including five consecutive to halt the final Cougar rally, which had pulled them within four – and seven rebounds. Cougar seniors Aron Baynes (19 points, 10 rebounds) and Taylor Rochestie (14 points) played as if they didn't want their WSU careers to end, especially in the second half. But by then it was too late. We'll be back in about an hour or so. Until then …


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Vince Grippi
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