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February 2, 2008
In the classic movie, Groundhog Day, the character played by Bill Murray keeps experiencing the same thing over and over and over ad infinitum. A mere two days after losing a close game to California at home, the 9th-ranked Washington State University Cougars men's hoop team could not hit their free throws down the stretch - missing six in the final three and a half minutes of regulation and two more in overtime - as they lost another close game at home 67-65 to Stanford in overtime - handing WSU their first consecutive losses in two years. Senior guard Kyle Weaver led the Cougars with a career-high 23 points. The loss drops the Cougars to 17-4 overall and 5-4 in the Pac-10.
The Cougars once again got off to a quick start, building a five-point lead at 18-13 behind seven first-half points from senior guard Derrick Low who was rebounding from a poor shooting effort against California. Wazzu was able to hold that margin all the way through until the first half break, with a 26-21 lead going into the second half.
In the second half, the Cougars appeared to be on the verge of breaking the game open on three separate occasions. Wazzu came storming out of the gate with four quick points in their first three possessions and had kept the Cardinal scoreless for nearly five minutes, dating back to the end of the first half. But Stanford fought back within two only to watch Wazzu take off again to another nine-point lead at 40-31 and then again at 42-33 nearly midway through the half. But that was the last comfortable lead the Cougars would have as the Cardinal went on a 9-0 run to tie the game and then stayed within two possessions of the Cougars before finally reeling them in late in the second half thanks to six missed free throws on their final seven possessions.
In overtime, Stanford took the lead and never trailed as the Cougars missed two more free throws and junior guard Taylor Rochestie missed a driving game-tying lay-up at the close of the period.
Low finished with 19 points while senior forward Robbie Cowgill added 11 and Weaver pulled down 11 boards.
The Cougars will next play UCLA at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 7 at Beasley Coliseum in Pullman.
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