Honolulu, HI (Sports Network) – Klay Thompson scored 20 points and Washington State overcame blowing a huge second-half lead, but upended 15th-ranked Baylor, 77-71, in the semifinals of the Diamond Head Classic at Stan Sheriff Center.
Baylor trailed by as many as 20 points in the second half before rallying to take a three-point edge, only to falter down the stretch.
Washington State shot 61.9 percent (13-of-21) in the second half and that helped the Cougars hold on at the end. There was also a huge 25-3 bench point differential in favor of the Cougars.
Ahead already 39-26 at halftime, thanks in part to holding Baylor to 8-of-28 shooting in the opening 20 minutes, the Cougars widened the advantage. Aden’s jumper gave the Cougars a 55-35 cushion with 14 1/2 minutes left.
Motum’s bucket made it 59-41 inside 13 minutes remaining, but the Bears mounted a furious comeback, going on a dominating 23-2 burst. Dunn had the first nine of the spurt and accounted for 18 points total in the rally. His jumper gave Baylor a 62-61 lead inside seven minutes left, and his two free throws capped the push.
Moore came back with a layup, and Thompson’s three-ball moved Washington State back on top, 66-64, with 4 1/2 minutes left.
After another Moore jumper, Dunn’s three-pointer from the right wing closed the margin to 68-67 with 1:44 left. Thompson, though, drained a long three from well beyond the top of the arc, and the Cougars made six foul shots in the closing 32.4 seconds to seal the win.
Thompson’s three-pointer extended the Cougars to a 19-11 lead nearly seven minutes into the game. His 1-of-2 effort at the charity stripe with nearly 5 1/2 minutes left in the half made it 35-19.
Dunn made all 12 of his foul shots, but the Bears were just 4-of-22 from three-point range, including Dunn’s 3-of-15 effort…Perry Jones III had 11 points and seven rebounds for the Bears…Baylor shot 36.7 percent from the field, compared to 57.1 for the Cougars…Thompson was 5-of-6 from beyond the arc, part of a 9-of-18 performance for Washington State…Prior to this game, Baylor had held all nine opponents under 70 points.