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March 15, 2008It was the same as it always was for the 21st-ranked Washington State University Cougar men's hoop team against Stanford - it all boiled down to the Lopez twins. In this case, it was Brook Lopez, who scored 30 points and, combined with his brother Robin Lopez, the pair accounted for 39 points and 20 rebounds for the Cardinal in 75-68 win over the Cougars. Once again, there was a contingent of four Cougars scoring in double figures, this time led by senior guard Kyle Weaver with a career-high 25 points as WSU dropped to 24-8 overall on the year and will now await their NCAA bid on Sunday.
Wazzu got off to a fast start against the Cardinal, opening up a first-half five-point lead at 13-8, but Stanford went on a 9-0 run that gave them a lead they would never relinquish. Wazzu responded late in the first half with a 9-2 run to pull even at 26-all after a free throw from junior guard Taylor Rochestie, then consecutive three-pointers from Rochestie and junior forward Daven Harmeling and another pair of free throws from Weaver, but Stanford pulled away for the lead at halftime, 34-30.
The Cardinal threatened to put the game on ice, building a seven-point lead when senior guard Derrick Low unleashed a short barrage of three consecutive treys to help pull Wazzu within two at 47-45 just over midway through the half. But the Cardinal withstood the barrage and not only rebuilt their lead but padded it into double digits at 67-56 with three minutes remaining in the game. Wazzu then scored on their next six possessions - including a four-point play from Harmeling - to crawl back within three at 71-68 with 24 seconds left in the game. However, both Low and Rochestie missed shots in their final two possessions and Stanford made their ensuing free throws for the final margin of victory as WSU finished the game with an uncharacteristically high 13 turnovers and an uncharacteristically low point total from big men Aron Baynes and Robbie Cowgill, who combined for two points in 45 minutes of action.
Other Cougars joining Weaver in double figures were Low with 15, Harmeling with 13 and Rochestie with 11. Weaver completed a double-double performance with 12 boards.
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