Greatness was on display tonight in Pauley Pavilion.
Unfortunately, that was because of the fact that the 1975 UCLA Men's Basketball team, Coach Wooden's last team, was honored at halftime.
That isn't to say that this year's team didn't play well. The team jumped out to lead early and held it for the first four minutes of the first half. Kevon Looney gave the Bruins their biggest lead of the first half when he hit a three pointer about a minute into the game.
But, at that point, the Cougars took the lead and the battle was on. With 5:37 to go in the half, Junior Forward Brett Boese gave the Cougars a seven point lead. At the end of the first half, Washington State led by a score of 34-32.
And the battle continued into the second half. DaVonte Lacy hit a three with 15:53 left and WSU had a five point lead again.
The Bruins kept it close though cutting the Washington State lead to one several times. The Bruins finally took back the lead after two big plays by Tony Parker. On the first one, he lowered his shoulder and powered through for the layup as if to say, "I'm done losing this game." And, then to prove it, after an Isaac Hamilton steal, Parker took the pass from Hamilton and dunked to give the Bruins the lead 46-45 with 11:41 to play.
The Bruins started to take over the game at this point and stretched the lead out to seven 56-49 with 7:18 to go.
But the Cougars just wouldn't go away. DaVonte Lacy three pointer pulled the Cougars within three with 4 minutes to go.
And, they had a little help from the SPTRs who called a charge on Powell with 2:34 to go which could have allowed the Cougs to tie it up. I don't know if they saw the replay on the video board or not, but the SPTRs gave the Bruins the ball back with a travelling call on the ensuing possession for Wazzu.
Powell came back with a vengeance after the travelling call when he hit a three pointer that pretty much sealed the victory for the Bruins with a minute and a half to play.
Kevon Looney finished the game up by hitting one of two free throws after the SPTRs called a foul with 00.1 seconds to play.
Powell led all scorers with 28 and Parker put up 15 for the Bruins while Josh Hawkinson led the Cougars with 21 points in a losing effort.