Klay Thompson overcame an error-filled first half to score 26 points, DeAngelo Casto added 20 on the inside and visiting Washington State completed a season sweep of rival Washington with an 80-69 victory Sunday night at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.
Thompson came up big against the Huskies for the second time after scoring 25 in an 87-80 win last month in Pullman that started Washington’s three-game skid.
Now the Cougars (18-10, 8-8 Pac-10) might have ended Washington’s hopes – however slim – of a Pac-10 regular-season title.
The Cougars made this ugly from the start, and Washington never recovered. The Huskies were held to 17 points in the first half, trailed by 21 in the second half and watched their own fans start to head for the exits with nearly 7 minutes remaining and down by 16.
Isaiah Thomas led the Huskies (19-9, 10-6) with 21 points but got little help.
Washington’s second-leading scorer, Matthew Bryan-Amaning, missed his first seven shots and didn’t score for the first 26 minutes. He finished with just 14 and was completely outplayed by Casto.
And now Washington is left with work to do just to secure its postseason fate.
Washington had one final charge, turning Hec Ed into a frenzied mess of noise in the final minutes. Down 61-43, Bryan-Amaning converted a three-point play and started a 16-4 run in less than two minutes. C.J. Wilcox, Venoy Overton and Thomas knocked down 3-pointers and, mixed with a pair of Cougars turnovers, had the lead trimmed to 65-59 with 4:06 left.
Reggie Moore stemmed the run with two free throws and, after a Washington turnover, Casto followed up Moore’s miss to push the lead back to 10 with 3 minutes left. Washington State was unflappable at the free throw line, making 25 straight at one point and 32 of 36 for the game.
The Cougars were shooting 69 percent at the line as a team entering the game.
Overton was then called for a charge for running over Abe Lodwick in the lane, and the Huskies’ chances at a remarkable comeback were finished as chants of “Let’s go, Cougars!” filled the arena.
Suddenly the Huskies have gone from NCAA tournament locks to riding a tenuous line that will be determined by their final two home games against surging UCLA and USC and the Pac-10 tournament.
And the Cougars? Their postseason hopes might have very little life, but they get the satisfaction of sweeping their rivals.
On this night, every loose ball and every hustle play went the way of the Cougars. Casto added 13 rebounds.
They were also harassing on defense, especially in the first half, when Washington shot 22 percent and scored just 17 points, the fewest in a first half since Lorenzo Romar took over as coach in 2002. Washington had scoreless stretches of 7 and nearly 31/2 minutes, and the only reason the Cougars didn’t lead by more than seven at halftime was their own mistakes, including five first-half turnovers by Thompson.