Washington State 85, USC 77

Cougars down Trojans, earn first-round bye

PULLMAN – DeAngelo Casto was on target all night.

And now, thanks to big-time performances from a trio of juniors, so are the Cougars.

Washington State frustrated and subdued Southern Cal and its nightmarish 6-foot-10 forward Nikola Vucevic on Thursday night at Beasley Coliseum, claiming an 85-77 victory and pulling even with the Trojans (17-13, 9-8) for a fourth-place tie in the Pac-10 standings with just one game remaining.

“Our guys really played a great game,” WSU coach Ken Bone said. “I’m really impressed with the way we played tonight.”

The Cougars (19-10, 9-8) were led by Casto’s 24 points, part of a double-double that included 10 rebounds. The 6-foot-8 junior was 10-of-11 from the field and 4-of-6 at the foul line. Fellow juniors Klay Thompson and Faisel Aden pitched in 22 and 20 points respectively, marking the first time this season that WSU has had three players score in the 20s in the same game.

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