Zags Victimized By Barrage Of Three Pointers In Loss At WSU

Dec. 9, 2010

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PULLMAN, Wash. - Klay Thompson scored 24 points and had six assists as Washington State beat cold-shooting Gonzaga 81-59 on Wednesday night in the annual battle of eastern Washington rivals.

Gonzaga (4-4) once again was victimized by 3-point shooting, giving up 11-of-21.

Thompson scored 21 of his points in the second half for Washington State (6-1), which has lost only to No. 5 Kansas State. Faisel Aden added 14 points.

The Cougars connected on 11-of-21 treys, 6-of-11 in the first half and 5-of-10 in the second half. Thompson finished 8-for-14 from the field, including a 4-for-7 night from the field. Opponents have connected on 49 3-pointers in the last five games with Illinois (12-for-23) and WSU hitting double-digits from beyond the arc.

The Bulldogs couldn't get the offense generated, shooting a chilly 7-for-22 for 31.8 percent in the opening half, although the Zags did improve to go 12-for-26 for 46.2 percent in the second half.

It looked like WSU was going to make it a blowout earlier, taking a 25-6 lead with 7:19 to go in the first half, and still led 30-13 just 5:30 from halftime. But Gonzaga went on an 11-0 run to end the half to make it a respectable 30-26 and it seemed as though the second half would be a close-fought battle.

Robert Sacre scored four of his six points in the game at the free throw line to start the late first-half comeback for the Zags, also grabbing a game-high 10 boards. Mathis Mönninghoff hit from the right corner in front of the Zags bench to make it 30-20, and Demetri Goodson and Elias Harris got lay-ins to cut the margin to the 30-24 halftime count.

But the second half started with Sacre missing an easy dunk on Gonzaga's first possession that would have made it a 4-point game, Steven Gray, who had 7 points on a 2-for-10 night from the field, missed a good-look three and Elias Harris picked up his third foul - all that happening in the first 1:03 of the half.

WSU opened the second half with a 12-4 run to go up by 16 with 15:29 and the Bulldogs didn't have many answers the rest of the night.

"We didn't respond on offense or defense and I thought that was the difference all night," Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said. "We didn't compete. We acted like we were afraid on offense. At times, especially in the second part of that first half, we were doing what we were supposed to do, and maybe the start of the game we defended decently well but we definitely lost sight of that in the second half."

The schedule doesn't get any easier for the Bulldogs, who head to 213rd-ranked Notre Dame for a Saturday night contest. The Fighting Irish lost their first game of the season Wednesday to Kentucky.

"The schedule is just beating us up and really taking its toll, but we have to respond and we didn't respond tonight," Few said.

The Bulldogs have lost to three Top 25 teams this season in San Diego State, Kansas State and Illinois.



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