WSU

No. 19 WSU rallies from 12 points down to top USC 75-72

Feb 29, 2024, 10:12 PM | Updated: 10:42 pm

WSU Cougars Isaiah Watts...

Isaiah Watts of the WSU Cougars intercepts a pass against USC on Feb. 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

(AP Photo/Young Kwak)

PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Isaiah Watts and Andrej Jakimovski scored 18 points each and Myles Rice added 16 to help the No. 19 WSU Cougars rally past USC 75-72 on Thursday night.

WSU Cougars 75, USC 72: Box score

The Cougars (22-7, 13-5 Pac-12) trailed by 12 points late in the first half and didn’t take their first lead until 2:35 remaining on a 3-pointer from Watts, his fifth of the game.

USC freshman Isaiah Collier scored a game-high 24 points but missed a critical free throw with 23 seconds left that would have cut Washington State’s lead to two points.

Jaylen Wells then missed two free throws on the other end for Washington State and USC (11-17, 5-12) had one last chance to try and force overtime, but Boogie Ellis and Kobe Johnson missed 3-point attempts in the final seconds.

Wells, who had 13 points, scored five straight to put Wazzu on top for good and stretch its lead to 73-69.

The Cougars, playing in front of their largest crowd of the season, shot 10 of 20 from 3-point range. All but one of their 3s came from Watts and Jakimovksi.

Collier used his physicality and athleticism to score 14 points in the first half. He had back-to-back clutch drives and baskets in the final minutes.

Late in the first half the Cougars turned it over on three straight possessions and five times in a two-minute stretch to help USC race to a 39-27 lead. But Washington State closed the half with an 8-0 run to close the gap to 39-35 at intermission.

USC outscored the Cougars 46-20 in the paint.

DJ Rodman, a USC graduate transfer who played his first four years at Washington State, was greeted with frequent boos in his return to Pullman. He scored 8 points.

BIG PICTURE

USC Trojans: The Trojans controlled this one for most of the night and looked to be on their way to their third win in four games. But they failed to get stops at the end to continue a disappointing season.

WSU Cougars: The Cougars look disjointed for much of the night on offense and suffered multiple defensive breakdowns like they did last week at Arizona State. But their 3-point shooting kept them in the game and they caught fire at the end to continue their best season in 15 years.

UP NEXT

USC Trojans: At Washington on Saturday.

WSU Cougars: Hosts UCLA on Saturday.

See the full WSU Cougars football schedule for 2024

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