Taylor Rochestie shed the last remnants of his rocky road to Pullman, then shooed away the Washington Huskies. On Tuesday, the Washington...
Taylor Rochestie shed the last remnants of his rocky road to Pullman, then shooed away the Washington Huskies.
On Tuesday, the Washington State sophomore guard finally took off a knee brace that was protecting an MCL tear suffered in October 2005 when he was at Tulane. The injury, combined with Hurricane Katrina, helped lead him to WSU.
Then on Wednesday, he came off the bench to score 16 points to lead the Cougars to a 65-61 win over the Huskies at Edmundson Pavilion.
“I said goodbye to all that [his injury],” he said. “It was more of a mental thing to me, and I just felt good out there.”
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Rochestie had 10 points in the first half as WSU broke to a 40-32 halftime lead. He hit 4 of 5 shots in the half, and 6 of 9 shots overall.
“He had a heck of a game,” said Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar. “We couldn’t keep him out of the middle at times and that really hurt us.”
Rochestie said the Huskies leave the middle open at times because their guards pressure so far out, and the Cougars adjusted by moving their post players up higher than normal to create openings in the lane.
Wednesday’s game at a glance
Player of the game: Cougars sophomore guard Taylor Rochestie, who came off the bench after Daven Harmeling got in early foul trouble, scored a team-high 16 points, bettering his previous season high of nine. Rochestie sat out last season after transferring from Tulane.
Turning point: After a Justin Dentmon three-pointer brought the Huskies to 62-61 behind with 3:31 left, Washington never scored again, missing its last eight shots.
Next: at Pittsburgh, 11 a.m. Saturday, ESPN.
“Then lane was open and I just took advantage of it,” he said.
Tickets at a premium
Wednesday’s game was technically a sellout weeks ago, but that didn’t stop fans from trying to get in.
Tickets, regularly $25 and $30, were being advertised for at least double that on Internet sites such as craigslist.com in the hours before tipoff.
A couple of “ticket brokers” working the area outside Edmundson Pavilion — where the resale of tickets above face value is legal — said they anticipated the game generating the most action of what has been a disappointing season compared to the past few years. One said he was selling tickets for $80 to $100 and might even be able to sell a few for $200.
However, the Husky Ticket Office cautioned that brokers were not the only way to get tickets in the days and hours before games, even those listed as sellouts.
The Huskies reserve 1,200 seats for students who bought passes before the season. But just about 700 have been showing up on a regular basis; the remaining tickets are resold. The Huskies put 196 on sale Monday morning, confident that they wouldn’t be needed by students, and said they sold within two minutes.
Once the game reaches tipoff time, tickets left unclaimed by students are put on sale. Huskies officials said several hundred were available, and that every fan who was waiting was able to buy one at regular price.
— Guard Kyle Weaver became the second Cougar in history to reach 125 rebounds and 125 assists in the same season. The only other player to do it was Keith Morrison, in both the 1984-85 and 1985-86 seasons.
— WSU now has 22 wins, its most since the 1991-92 team went 22-11.
“It doesn’t sound right, does it?” laughed Weaver. “It’s even shocking just to see that. But we deserve it. We’ve worked hard all season.”
— The Huskies will fly today to Pittsburgh for a game Saturday against the No. 7-rated Panthers. Romar kept a stiff upper-lip afterward Wednesday’s loss, saying, “If we can compete like this the rest of the year, we still have a chance.”