UW HUSKIES

UW upsets No. 18 WSU 74-68, spoils Cougs’ Pac-12 title hopes

Mar 7, 2024, 9:00 PM | Updated: 10:28 pm

UW Huskies WSU Koren Johnson...

The UW Huskies' Koren Johnson gestures after a win over the WSU Cougars. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

(AP Photo/Young Kwak)

PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Koren Johnson scored 23 points, Keion Brooks Jr. added 22 and the UW Huskies knocked off the No. 18 WSU Cougars 74-68 in the final Pac-12 Conference matchup between the cross-state rivals.

UW Huskies 74, WSU Cougars 68: Box score

Johnson nailed a corner 3-pointer with 1:21 left that proved to be the final blow, putting the Huskies up 68-61.

“Just happy for our guys and our program and our alumni,” Washington coach Mike Hopkins said. “And it’s sad that this is the last Apple Cup in the Pac-12. This is a great rivalry. This is something that I’ve learned to love and love to be a part of.”

Washington State (23-8, 14-6) failed to get stops at critical moments and shot 4 of 24 from 3-point range.

The second-place Cougars came in hoping for their first conference title since 1941, but their loss coupled with Arizona’s 88-65 victory at UCLA clinched the Pac-12 regular-season crown outright for the Wildcats.

“Disappointed we couldn’t come away with the win, but hats off to them. They played well. They made the big plays that got them the win,” Washington State coach Kyle Smith said.

Washington spoiled what had been a charmed season at home for the Cougars in the final meeting between the schools as members of the Pac-12. The hoops version of the Apple Cup is likely to continue, but it will be with the Cougars in the West Coast Conference and the Huskies in the Big Ten.

It was Washington’s first road win over a ranked opponent since beating Kansas on Dec. 6, 2017.

“These are the types of games you dream of playing in,” Brooks said. “They’re ranked. They’re our rival. Last Pac-12 game. That’s the stuff you dream about growing up. And the atmosphere was amazing.”

Washington (17-14, 9-11) used an 11-0 run midway through the second half to take the lead for good, which included a 3 from Brooks and Johnson’s jumper to make it 61-53.

The Cougars pulled to 63-60, but couldn’t get closer. Washington State struggled badly at the free-throw line, hitting just 8 of 17.

Isaac Jones led Washington State with 20 points but was 2 of 8 from the foul line. Leading scorer Myles Rice was held to eight points on 2-of-9 shooting.

Washington State shot 39% for the game and started 1 of 12 from behind the arc.

“I don’t know if it was bad decision-making or maybe we were a little too anxious on Senior Night, but we took some bad shots to start the game,” Smith said.

BIG PICTURE

UW Huskies: The Huskies avoided for now their fifth straight season with at least 15 losses. This was sweet revenge after dropping an overtime game to the Cougars last month.

WSU Cougars: The Cougars’ fourth straight slow start looked as though it wouldn’t come back to bite them. It was more a poor finish to the first half and lack of execution for the usually clutch Washington State guards that doomed the Cougars, putting a damper on what has been their best season since 2007-08.

UP NEXT

UW Huskies: Play in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament on Wednesday.

WSU Cougars: Following a first-round bye, play in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Tournament on Thursday, likely as the No. 2 seed.

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UW upsets No. 18 WSU 74-68, spoils Cougs’ Pac-12 title hopes