Thomas Kelati scored 17 points and Robbie Cowgill scored four crucial points in the final 90 seconds to lead Washington State to a 55-54 victory over Portland on Saturday.
PORTLAND, Ore. – Thomas Kelati scored 17 points and Robbie Cowgill scored four crucial points in the final 90 seconds to lead Washington State to a 55-54 victory over Portland on Saturday.
Portland had a chance to win but Pooh Jeter’s 35-footer bounced off the back of the rim as the buzzer sounded.
The Cougars (5-3), who led 29-27 at the half, appeared to be in control when Kelati hit a 3-pointer to give them a 44-36 lead with 10:30 left. But Jeter answered with three 3-pointers in less than two minutes to propel the Pilots into the lead.
The Pilots later took a 52-48 lead on a jumper by Jeter and two free throws by Jeremiah Dominguez.
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Washington State’s Jeff Varem hit a 3-pointer to trim Portland’s lead to 52-51 and Donald Wilson hit one of two free throws to give the Pilots a 53-51 lead with 1:58 left.
That set the stage for Cowgill, a reserve post. He tied the game with a short jumper and, after Jeter missed a 3-pointer, gave the Cougars the lead with two free throws.
The Pilots (7-3) had a chance to tie when Marcus Lewis was fouled, but he missed one of his free throws. Washington State was allowed to run all but seven of the remaining seconds from the clock before Kelanti missed a shot from close range.
Portland opted to set up for a last-second shot without calling a time out. But Washington State’s defensive pressure forced Jeter to take his shot from far beyond the 3-point arc.
Jeter had 17 points and had a game-high seven assists. Wilson added 10 points and eight rebounds for the Pilots.
Varem had 11 points and nine rebounds for the Cougars.