PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) Washington State coach Ernie Kent had an easy time giving his team a grade after the Cougars beat Colorado 96-91 in overtime on Saturday in the regular-season finale for both teams.
”Everybody was on their A-game,” Kent said. ”Everybody brought their offense.”
Josh Hawkinson scored 21 points and Ike Iroegbu added 18 as six players scored in double figures for Washington State (13-17, 7-11 Pac-12).
Josh Scott scored 32 points and Askia Booker had 26 for Colorado (14-16, 7-11 Pac-12), which saw a two-game winning streak snapped.
Both teams advance to next week’s Pac-12 tournament is Las Vegas, with Washington State the ninth seed and Colorado the 10th seed. The Cougars will play No. 8 seed California in the first round and the Buffaloes will play No. 7 seed Oregon State.
Washington State has played well in its past five games, although it has only two wins to show for it. The Cougars had narrow losses to Washington, UCLA and No. 13 Utah.
”They have done a lot of growing up,” said Kent, in his first season as WSU coach. ”We felt we had enormous growth potential.”
”Now we’re going to Vegas and everybody is 0-0,” Kent said.
Hawkinson made 9 of 12 field goals and added 10 rebounds for his league-leading 19th double-double of the season. DaVonte Lacy and Dexter Kernich-Drew each scored 17 points for the Cougars while Jordan Railey scored 12 and Que Johnson 11.
Both teams shot 51 percent from the floor, but the Cougars were 9 of 18 from 3-point range while Colorado made just 2 of 13 from distance.
”When you score 91 points you’ve got to win,” said Colorado coach Tad Boyle.
”I thought we had one (game) stolen and they gave it back,” Boyle said. ”We didn’t play good defense.”
”We’ve got to move on,” he said.
Washington State opened the overtime period with consecutive 3-pointers by Kernich-Drew and Lacy for an 83-77 lead.
”We didn’t fold,” Boyle said.
A steal and layup by Xavier Talton brought Colorado within 85-83, but Kernich-Drew replied with a long jumper from the corner for an 87-83 WSU lead with a minute left.
After a free throw by Iroegbu, Booker sank a pair of three throws to cut WSU’s lead to three.
Lacy was fouled on the inbounds play and sank both free throws to push the lead to five.
Scott scored on a putback with 31 seconds left to cut WSU’s lead to 90-87.
WSU’s Johnson was fouled and made both free throws for a 92-87 lead with 28 seconds left.
Talton made two free throws to cut WSU’s lead to three, but Iroegbu made two on the other end for WSU.
Tre’Shaun Fletcher stepped out of bounds on the next play, turning the ball over to Washington State with 16.2 seconds left.
Hawkinson made two free throws to give Washington State a 96-89 lead with 14 seconds left. Scott replied with a basket, but Washington State ran out of the clock on the next possession for the win.
Down by seven at halftime, Colorado continued to trail for much of the second half.
Then Colorado heated up, launching a 14-5 run. A basket and two free throws by Booker and a basket by Jaron Hopkins brought Colorado within 67-65.
Booker’s layup put the Buffaloes ahead 73-72 with 4:30 left.
Hawkinson’s free throw tied the game at 73-73 with 2:39 left. Jordan Railey scored to put Washington State up 75-73 with 1:31 left.
Scott’s basket gave them a 77-75 lead with 30 seconds left.
Iroegbu’s shot from underneath missed for WSU and Colorado got the ball back when Iroegbu was ruled out of bounds on the rebound.
But a jump ball was called on the inbounds pass play and Washington State got the ball back with 8.6 seconds left.
”I didn’t see it,” Boyle said of the play in which Iroegbu and Johnson tied up Booker.
Lacy tied the score at 77-77 on a long jumper with 1.1 seconds left. A desperation shot by Colorado bounced off the rim and the game went into overtime.
”I knew I was going to take it,” Lacy said of his shot.
Washington State led 45-38 at halftime, after shooting 60.6 percent. Hawkinson had 18 points in the first half, making 9 of 10 shots. Scott led Colorado, which shot 50 percent, with 15 points in the first half.
Colorado: Scott is one of five players in team history with 1,000 points, 600 rebounds and 100 blocks … Booker leads the Buffs with an average of 16.9 ppg. … Colorado was looking for first Pac-12 road sweep since 2012-13.
Washington State: Cougars had lost five straight to Colorado and this is their first win over CU since the Buffaloes joined the Pac-12. … Hawkinson leads the Pac-12 with 19 double-doubles … It was Senior Day for Lacy, Kernich-Drew and Railey.
Colorado won the rebound battle 40-30, and outscored the Cougars in the paint 52-36.
Colorado plays Oregon State on Wednesday in the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas
Washington State plays Cal on Wednesday in the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas.