PULLMAN — After losing in overtime to Colorado on Wednesday, the Cougars were determined to close this one out.
It came down to the final seconds, but Washington State did just that, holding on for a 49-46 win over Utah on Sunday.
Que Johnson had 14 points and went 10 of 13 from the free throw line to help the Cougars (8-8, 1-3 Pac-12) come back from a 12-point deficit for their first Pac-12 win.
“It was imperative we got a win at home,” Washington State coach Ken Bone said. “It was our only home game out of the last four — you better win it, because it doesn’t get any easier from this point forward.”
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Utah was also coming off a narrow loss, a 59-57 defeat at Washington on Wednesday.
“You could say this was Washington State’s defense, and it was good, but we have lost a couple down the stretch by not executing, so it rests on us,” Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said.
With 56 seconds on the clock, Wright stole the ball from Johnson and dunked to pull the Utes within one, 47-46.
After an offensive foul on Johnson, Utah’s Brandon Taylor traveled and put the ball back in the hands of Washington State.
The Utes (12-4, 1-3) fouled and Johnson made two free throws. WSU made a decision to foul Delon Wright on the next play, and it paid off — Wright missed both free throws and Brandon Taylor’s desperation three off the rebound missed.