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Top-25 takedowns: Looking back at Washington State’s ranked wins over the years

UPDATED: Fri., Jan. 17, 2020

With Thursday’s 72-61 upset win over No. 8 Oregon, Washington State avoided 20 consecutive losses to teams ranked in the top 10 in the Associated Press rankings, and the Cougars won their first top-10 game since 2007, when they knocked off Arizona under Tony Bennett.

Though top-10 teams have been tricky for WSU, the Cougars have still picked up a handful of Top 25 wins since staging an upset of the seventh-ranked Wildcats more than a decade ago.

Here’s a look back at the program’s 13 Top 25 wins since the Cougars last knocked down a top-10 team:

2017 – WSU 84, No. 21 Saint Mary’s 79: The program’s last Top 25 win came in Ernie Kent’s second-to-final season and was pivotal in that it sent WSU to the championship game of the John Wooden Classic, eventually beating San Diego State. Malachi Flynn poured in 26 points to beat a Saint Mary’s team led by big man Jock Landale.

Washington State forward Robert Franks (3) and Saint Mary's center Evan Fitzner (21) in actions during an NCAA college basketball game between Washington State and Saint Mary's at the Wooden Legacy tournament Friday, Nov. 24, 2017, in Fullerton, Calif. (Ringo H.W. Chiu / COURTESY PHOTO)
Washington State forward Robert Franks (3) and Saint Mary's center Evan Fitzner (21) in actions during an NCAA college basketball game between Washington State and Saint Mary's at the Wooden Legacy tournament Friday, Nov. 24, 2017, in Fullerton, Calif. (Ringo H.W. Chiu / COURTESY PHOTO)

2016 – WSU 85, No. 25 UCLA 78: Josh Hawkinson had one of his 40 double-doubles with 20 points and 10 rebounds as the Cougars escaped the Bruins on a 27-point night for Isaac Hamilton. It was the third consecutive home win for WSU against UCLA.

2013 – WSU 73, No. 23 UCLA 61: Another double-double from a Washington State big man paced the Cougars, as Brock Motum totaled 20 points and 11 rebounds to upstage a UCLA team that had its eyes on a Pac-12 Conference title. The Cougars broke a 19-game home losing streak against the Bruins playing without injured DaVonte Lacy and Mike Ladd.

2011 – WSU 87, No. 18 Washington 80: Two future NBA All-Star guards went head-to-head at Beasley Coliseum, but it was Klay Thompson’s Cougars who got better of Isaiah Thomas’ Huskies. Thompson had 25 points, five assists and four steals and Thomas scored 19 points for UW, the top team in the conference at that point.

ORG XMIT: WADH109 Washington guard Isaiah Thomas reacts to receiving his fourth foul during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Washington State Sunday, Jan. 30, 2011, in Pullman, Wash. Thomas later fouled out. Washington State won 87-80. (Dean Hare / AP)
ORG XMIT: WADH109 Washington guard Isaiah Thomas reacts to receiving his fourth foul during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Washington State Sunday, Jan. 30, 2011, in Pullman, Wash. Thomas later fouled out. Washington State won 87-80. (Dean Hare / AP)

2010 – WSU 77, No. 15 Baylor 71: Thompson needed to bury two late 3-pointers to hold off a motivated Baylor team that came back from 20 points down in the second half. WSU’s sharpshooting guard led the Cougars with 20 points and iced the game from the free-throw line to send his team to the championship game of the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu, which they’d ultimately lose to Brad Stevens and Butler.

Washington State guard Klay Thompson, center, celebrates with his teammates after an NCAA college basketball game against Baylor at the Diamond Head Classic, Thursday, Dec. 23, 2010, in Honolulu. Washington State defeated 15th ranked Baylor 77-71 to advance to the championship game. (Eugene Tanner / AP)
Washington State guard Klay Thompson, center, celebrates with his teammates after an NCAA college basketball game against Baylor at the Diamond Head Classic, Thursday, Dec. 23, 2010, in Honolulu. Washington State defeated 15th ranked Baylor 77-71 to advance to the championship game. (Eugene Tanner / AP)

2009 – WSU 82, No. 15 UCLA 81: WSU rode Taylor Rochestie to the finish line at Pauley Pavilion, using a 33-point, five-rebound night from the senior guard, who made five 3-pointers and all 10 of his free throws. Rochestie scored 14 of the team’s final 16 points to stun UCLA and standout guard Darren Collison, who had 20 points and eight assists.

ORG XMIT: CABK110 UCLA's Darren Collison, right, reacts after losing to Washington State 81-80 in an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 21, 2009, in Los Angeles. (Branimir Kvartuc / AP)
ORG XMIT: CABK110 UCLA's Darren Collison, right, reacts after losing to Washington State 81-80 in an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 21, 2009, in Los Angeles. (Branimir Kvartuc / AP)

2009 – WSU 51, No. 11 Arizona State 49 (OT): Rochestie and the Cougars prevailed in an overtime thriller, when the guard rose up for a winning 3-pointer from the top of the key with 2.3 seconds left. WSU was fortunate to catch Pac-10 leading scorer James Harden on an off-night, although the ASU guard made two free throws in regulation that sent the game into overtime.

2008 – No. 4 WSU 61, No. 15 Notre Dame 41: A strong defensive effort in Denver allowed the Cougars to return to the Sweet 16 for the first time in 67 years and WSU held Notre Dame’s 20 point-per-game scorer Luke Harangody to 10 points on just 3-of-17 shooting. Derrick Low led with 18 points, Kyle Weaver had 15 and Robbie Cowgill tacked on 12.

Washington State players, from left, forward Robbie Cowgill and guards Taylor Rochestie and Derrick Low celebrate as time runs out in the second half of Washington State's 61-41 victory over Notre Dame in a second-round NCAA East Regional basketball game in Denver on Saturday, March 22, 2008. (David Zalubowski / AP)
Washington State players, from left, forward Robbie Cowgill and guards Taylor Rochestie and Derrick Low celebrate as time runs out in the second half of Washington State's 61-41 victory over Notre Dame in a second-round NCAA East Regional basketball game in Denver on Saturday, March 22, 2008. (David Zalubowski / AP)

2008 – No. 6 WSU 56, No. 24 Arizona State 55: For the second time in as many years, the Cougars beat Harden and a ranked ASU team by a single possession. Low hit six 3-pointers, scoring all of his points from beyond the arc, and Harden missed a potential winner on a drive to the basket with the clock winding down. The future NBA MVP scored 25 points for the Sun Devils.

2007 – No. 6 WSU 51, No. 17 Gonzaga 47: The Cougars had even more motivation to knock off their Inland Northwest rival when Gonzaga’s Micah Downs called WSU the “second-best team in Washington.” Aron Baynes scored 13 points and the Cougars handed the Bulldogs their first home loss while being ranked.

Washington State's Robbie Cowgill, left, Daven Harmeling, center, and Kyle Weaver, right, celebrate their 51-47 win over Gonzaga in a college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2007 at McCarthy Athletic Center, in Spokane, Wash. (Ted S. Warren / AP)
Washington State's Robbie Cowgill, left, Daven Harmeling, center, and Kyle Weaver, right, celebrate their 51-47 win over Gonzaga in a college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2007 at McCarthy Athletic Center, in Spokane, Wash. (Ted S. Warren / AP)

2007 – No. 13 WSU 88, No. 23 USC 86 (2OT): A career-high 25 points from Baynes lifted the Cougars over Nick Young and the Trojans in the final game of the Pac-10 regular season. WSU wrapped up second place in the conference thanks to Rochestie’s 21 points and 15 more from Weaver.

Washington State Unversity Aron Baynes celebrates their win against University of Southern California at Beasly Center in Pullman Saturday March 3, 2007. (PHOTO BY AMANDA SMITH / PHOTO BY AMANDA SMITH)
Washington State Unversity Aron Baynes celebrates their win against University of Southern California at Beasly Center in Pullman Saturday March 3, 2007. (PHOTO BY AMANDA SMITH / PHOTO BY AMANDA SMITH)

2007 – No. 14 WSU 58, No. 25 Stanford 45: The fourth ranked win of the 2006-07 season came against a Stanford team featuring the Lopez brothers – Brook and Robin – and Landry Fields. WSU’s Ivory Clark had a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds, and came up with five blocks while holding Stanford’s leading scorer, Lawrence Hill, scoreless on 10 field-goal attempts.

Stanford guard Anthony Goods, left, forward Brook Lopez, and guard Mitch Johnson look on as the final seconds tick down in the second half on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2007, in a college basketball game against Washington State in Pullman, Wash. Washington State won the game, 45-58. (Kody Whiteaker / AP)
Stanford guard Anthony Goods, left, forward Brook Lopez, and guard Mitch Johnson look on as the final seconds tick down in the second half on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2007, in a college basketball game against Washington State in Pullman, Wash. Washington State won the game, 45-58. (Kody Whiteaker / AP)

2007 – No. 18 WSU 72, No. 20 Arizona 66: Lute Olson’s Wildcats were ranked No. 7 when they lost to the Cougars earlier in the season, but had dropped 13 places to No. 20 by the next matchup. It marked the first time since the 1980s that WSU had swept Arizona and the fourth time in 48 tried the Cougars beat a Wildcats team coached by Olson.

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