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January 31, 2011PULLMAN - Washington State doesn't get a lot of attention outside the Pacific-10 Conference, but leading scorer Klay Thompson said beating No. 18 Washington on Sunday should open some eyes.
"We're going to try to make a lot of noise the second half of the season," said Thompson, who scored 25 points, had five steals and four assists as Washington State beat Washington 87-80.
In fact, Thompson thinks the Cougars can win out and claim the Pac-10 title.
"I think we have a chance to run the table," said Thompson, who leads the Pac-10 in scoring at 22 points per game. "I think we can be the best team in the league, and we showed that tonight."
Point guard Reggie Moore, who scored 18 points and had five assists, agreed.
"Me and Klay have been talking about running the table since the beginning of the season," Moore said. "We can win every game ahead of us."
Washington State (15-6, 5-4 Pac-10) held high-scoring Washington to 37 percent shooting and forced 23 turnovers. Afterward, the crowd stormed Friel Court and carried guard Faisal Aden off on their shoulders.
"It was crazy out there," said Aden, who scored 15 points off the bench.
Isaiah Thomas scored 19 points for Washington (15-5, 7-2), which fell into a tie with Arizona for first in the Pac-10.
But he made just 3 of 13 from the floor, all late in the game, and committed seven turnovers. Justin Holiday scored 16 points for the Huskies. Matthew Bryan-Amaning, who averages 16 per game, was held to six points, but got 11 rebounds.
"A lot of the difference was the turnovers they forced," Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said. "We average 12 turnovers a game."
"They got their hands on a lot of balls and they were able to get us out of sync," Romar said.
Leading by two at halftime, Washington State opened the second half with a 10-1 run, including a 3-pointer and spectacular alley-oop dunk by Moore, for a 55-44 lead.
Washington missed its first five shots of the second half and did not make a field goal until Holiday's 3-pointer with 14:33 left. But the Huskies did make seven of eight free throws to close to 57-53 with 13 minutes left.
Thompson hit a lay-up and 3-pointer as WSU built a 63-55 lead.
Washington did not make its second field goal of the second half until Scott Suggs scored with 9:39 left, cutting WSU's lead to 66-60. The Huskies were 2 of 11 from the field in the second half at that point, but had made 12 of 13 free throws to stay close.
Thomas, the third-leading scorer in the Pac-10, did not make his first field goal until just 6:13 was left in the game, a 3-pointer that cut WSU's lead to 75-69.
Thompson answered with a basket and a 3-pointer for an 80-69 lead. But Thomas made another 3-pointer and a jumper to pull the Huskies within 80-74 with less than five minutes left. But they were scoreless for nearly four minutes.
Aden hit a 3-pointer to give WSU an 83-74 lead with two minutes left.
In the first half, Thompson scored five of the Cougars' final eight points for a 45-43 halftime lead.
Washington State coach Ken Bone, a former UW assistant, won his first game in six tries against the Huskies.
"This probably is the biggest win since I've been here," said Bone, in his second season.
"Our goal is to try to get to the NCAA tournament," Bone said. "This is one of those games we felt we really, really needed."
Husky reserve C.J. Wilcox did not play because of a concussion.
The Huskies were trying to open 8-1 in the Pac-10 for the first time since 1984.