West Coast Winners

By Josh Herwitt - November 13, 2007

Wrapping up another day at the office here in Hang Time, and there was some good action to catch out on the West Coast Tuesday night.

The state of Washington, in particular, saw its two Top 25 teams take the court tonight as No. 14 Gonzaga blasted Idaho, 80-34, with freshman Austin Daye leading the way with 18 points.

But the Bulldogs didn't exactly play mistake-free basketball, committing 18 turnovers and making just 22 of 36 free throws. Fortunately for Mark Few and company, Jeremy Pargo also stepped up, finishing with 14 points while Matt Bouldin added 12.

Down in Pullman, ninth-ranked Washington State avoided an early-season upset to Boise State after trailing by six at halftime. The senior backcourt tandem of point man Derrick Low and two-guard Kyle Weaver proved to be the difference for Tony Bennett's squad, as the two combined for 47 points on 10-of-12 shooting to top the Broncos, 86-74, in Boise.

Boise State, which was trying to avenge last season's last-minute loss to the Cougars, looked to have the momentum and the support behind it, jumping out to a 21-8 lead in the first half thanks to some careless ball handing and cold shooting by WSU.

The Cougars, though, settled down after halftime, committing just three turnovers in the second half and shooting an efficient 9-for-19 from behind the arc. Low was arguably the biggest reason for that, salvaging his two-point performance in the first half with a second half that began with a three-point play followed by three three-pointers to tie the score at 41-41 with 16:15 still left to go in the game.

It was a close one out in the desert, too, as No. 17 Arizona slipped by Northern Arizona for a 76-69 win behind sophomore sensation Chase Budinger's 25 points.

Hall of Fame coach Lute Olson wasn't on hand for the Wildcats' season-opening victory after taking a personal leave of absence back on Nov. 4, and assistant Kevin O'Neill has taken over the reigns for the time being as freshman guard Jerryd Bayless poured in 18 points in his collegiate debut Tuesday night.

The Lumberjacks, however, stuck around for much of the game, pulling to within three at 66-63 with five minutes to play before Jawann McClellan sealed the victory with a pair of free throws with 11 seconds left.

No. 2 UCLA, meanwhile, finished off the night in the City of Angels by trouncing Cal State San Bernardino, 76-41, in the second round of the CBE Classic.

Despite remaining quiet for much of the first half, freshman forward Kevin Love came on strong after halftime, tallying 16 of his 19 points in the final 20 minutes to help the Bruins reach Kansas City next week for the CBE semifinals, where they'll play Maryland Monday, Nov. 19.

Love's 19 points marked his third consecutive double-figure game, but it was the first to come in front of the Wizard of Westwood, who witnessed the Bruins' victory from his traditional seat at Pauley Pavilion.

And after disappearing in Monday night's win over Youngstown State, Josh Shipp found his rhythm once again from long range, canning four of UCLA's nine three-pointers for 16 points. Russell Westbrook also had a much-improved game after looking sloppy at times last night against the Penguins, contributing 14 points in his third start for preseason All-American point guard Darren Collison.

Posted by Josh Herwitt at 11:35 PM on November 13, 2007

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