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December 28, 2007
PULLMAN, Wash. - Derrick Low scored 19 points and No. 4 Washington State's top-ranked defense did the rest in a 67-34 win over North Carolina A&T on Friday night.
Aron Baynes added 10 points and eight rebounds and Washington State (12-0) tied its best start since 1991-92. The school record is 17-0, set in 1914-15.
Steven Rush scored eight points to lead North Carolina A&T (5-8), which has lost six of its last seven. The Aggies shot just 27 percent from the field and had 19 turnovers. They scored their fewest points this season, 42 points below their season average.
The game was decided early before a small and quiet Christmas week crowd. The Cougars, who came in to the game leading the nation with 51 points allowed per game, went on an early 12-0 run for a 17-5 lead. They extended that to 33-12 at halftime.
Washington State opened the second half by making its first nine shots in a 20-4 run for a 53-16 lead.
It's been a tough stretch for North Carolina A&T. Of the eight undefeated teams in the Top 25, the Aggies have now lost to three; Washington State, Pittsburgh and Miami. They have also lost to Tennessee, which has just one loss.
North Carolina A&T has lost all 34 times it has played a ranked opponent, and Washington State gave them little hope of pulling off an upset.
After the Aggies tied the game at 5, they endured a 15-minute stretch of the first in which they made just two baskets.
The Cougars weren't exactly hot, making just 40 percent of their first half shots, and just 3-of-13 from 3-point range. But the 12 points they allowed in the first half was their best showing of the season.
Poll voters lifted Washington State three spots to No. 4 on Christmas Eve. The previous team record of No. 6 was set earlier this month.
North Carolina A&T is the final non-conference opponent for the Cougars, who open Pac-10 play next week. It is the first time the teams have played.
The Cougars have won six games by at least 20 points this season, and held seven opponents beneath 50 points. The fewest points they gave up was to Mississippi Valley State in a 71-26 win.