No. 6 Washington St. Beats Baylor, 67-64

Saturday, December 1st 2007, 4:11 pm
By: News On 6

WACO, Texas (AP) - Washington State still trailed by double figures when Derrick Low finally made a shot. Then after a rally by his team, Low missed his first chances at tying and go-ahead baskets. Good thing for the No. 6 Cougars that Low didn't give up shooting, no matter how bad it was for their top scorer most of the game.

Low made consecutive 3-pointers in a 46-second span, the first to tie with 3:06 left and the other to finally put the undefeated Cougars ahead to stay in a 67-64 victory Friday night that was a missed opportunity for Baylor.

``I knew my shot was going to come,'' Low said. ``As a shooter, you have to keep shooting them and eventually they'll go down. Thank God, they came at the right time.''

In other games involving ranked teams on Friday, No. 11 Tennessee beat Louisiana-Lafayette 98-70, and No. 13 Marquette beat Wisconsin-Milwaukee 100-65.

Before his back-to-back 3s, Low was 1-of-8 shooting. He finished with nine points, more than six below his season average.

The Cougars (7-0) were still down 44-33 when Low finally scored with 18:03 left. But he missed a 3-pointer that would tied the game with 11:33 left, and another a minute later that would have put his team ahead.

With 10,193 fans stuffed into Baylor's Ferrell Center for a rare home team against a ranked team that wasn't from the Big 12, the Bears were hoping to get a signature victory for coach Scott Drew.

Washington State, playing with its highest ranking ever, jumped out to a 7-0 lead.

But Baylor (5-1) responded with seven straight points. The Bears then went ahead and built a 38-26 lead after Curtis Jerrells' 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer sent the building into a frenzy.

``The momentum was with us,'' Baylor forward Kevin Rogers said. ``But I credit their players for making big shots when they needed them.''

While Low was still struggling, Daven Harmeling and Taylor Rochestie hit consecutive 3s to get the Cougars within 48-43. Washington State finally caught up at 55 when Kyle Weaver drove inside for a basket and added the free throw with 6:56 left.

Washington State is off to its best start since 12 straight victories to open the 1991-92 season.

Baylor lost its 29th consecutive game against a ranked team since beating Oklahoma State in February 2003. The Bears are 2-42 against Top 25 teams over the past seven seasons.

``There are no moral victories for us. We're not happy about the loss, and we're not happy about being close,'' Drew said. ``We're about winning these games because we're a team good enough to do that.''

Drew is in the fifth year of a daunting rebuilding project. He took over after former coach Dave Bliss resigned following a scandal sparked by the slaying of former player Patrick Dennehy by a teammate.

There were NCAA penalties for wrongdoing uncovered during Bliss' tenure that forced the Bears to deal with depleted rosters and limited schedules. Drew and his players had to pay the price even though all the violations occurred before any of them arrived.

Finally last year, Baylor got to play a full regular season with a full roster under Drew and went 15-16.

This time, the Bears had their best season-opening winning streak since a 12-0 mark in 2000-01.

Robbie Cowgill, who is from Austin about 90 miles south of Waco, led Washington State with 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting. Aron Baynes and Harmeling had 10 points apiece.

Aaron Bruce had 13 points for Baylor. LaceDarius Dunn and Jerrells had 11 points.

  • No. 11 Tennessee 98, Louisiana-Lafayette 70

Tyler Smith scored 22 points to lead five players in double-figures, and No. 11 Tennessee easily won its 22nd straight at home.

Jordan Howell added 17 points, JaJuan Smith 15 and Ramar Smith 14 for the Volunteers (7-1), who earned their second straight win after losing to No. 8 Texas last Saturday. Duke Crews finished with 10 points and nine rebounds.

Chris Gradnigo had 15 points, David Dees 14 and Elijah Millsap 12 for Lafayette (1-4).

  • No. 13 Marquette 100, Wis.-Milwaukee 65

Dominic James scored 22 points and Jerel McNeal added 16, powering the Golden Eagles to a rout of their cross-town opponent in their first meeting since 1998.

Lazar Hayward added 19 points and David Cubillan 12 for No. 13 Marquette (5-1), which looked sharp even though it had been idle since losing to Duke in the Maui Invitational championship game.

Ricky Franklin scored 14 points and Deion James 10 for Wisconsin-Milwaukee (3-4), which played a ranked team for the first time this season.