Washington State 77, Baylor 71

Cougars hold off No. 15 Baylor, advance to Diamond Head Classic title game

HONOLULU – It was all too familiar – and for all the wrong reasons.

Having been in control of 15th-ranked Baylor from the onset, Washington State would only see its 20-point lead wither away in a second-half scene reminiscent of last season’s lapses.

When LaceDarius Dunn hit an off-balance jumper with 6:49 to give the Bears their first lead since the opening minutes, it looked as if a letdown was going to transpire.

But Washington State junior Klay Thompson wasn’t having any of that. Not this year.

Thompson answered with a 3 to give the Cougars the lead again and hit another just over a minute left including a pair of free throws to help the Cougars hold off the Big 12 power 77-71 in the Diamond Classic semifinal on Thursday.

Washington State (10-1), which allowed a 29-6 run down the stretch that nearly a detriment, will face Butler on Saturday in the tournament title game at 6:30 p.m. PST.

“Last year, we might have folded a little bit, giving up a 20-point lead, we may have let that get to our head,”, said Thompson, who had a team-high 20 points. “This year, we’ve got so many good players and such a close team that when we face adversity like that, we’re not going to fold. We’re going to stay strong and keep coming at you.”

Tribune subscribers can read the rest of this story at http://www.lmtribune.com/story/sports/522689/

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