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Weaver, Harmeling lead No. 23 Washington St. over California

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) -- Washington State is serious about
staying ranked, not just making a brief appearance in the poll like
Cougars teams of the past.

Kyle Weaver had 14 points, a career-high 10 assists and six
rebounds, and Washington State (No. 23 ESPN/ USA Today; No. 22 AP) won playing as a ranked team
for the first time in nearly 24 years, beating California 73-56 on
Thursday night.

"I was intrigued, interested to see, OK, we got a little praise
and notoriety because we got ranked for the first time -- how will
they respond?" first-year Washington State coach Tony Bennett
said. "It's a good experience for us. They came out the right way.
We talked in the locker room, 'Don't forget about the little things
that got us here.'"

Daven Harmeling had 14 points and seven rebounds and Derrick Low
added 11 points and six assists -- a big improvement on a season-low
four-point performance in an upset of Arizona last weekend. Ivory
Clark also added 14 points and Robbie Cowgill had 11 points and six
boards in the Cougars' fourth straight victory and eighth in nine
games.

Washington State (15-2, 4-1 Pac-10) ended a four-game losing
streak to Cal and avenged a pair of two-point defeats last season.
The Cougars hadn't won in Berkeley since a 55-50 victory on Jan. 4,
2004, which ended a 31-game losing streak at Cal and 22-game road
skid in conference play.

Ryan Anderson had 17 points and eight rebounds to lead the
Golden Bears (10-6, 2-2), who had won their previous two conference
games after dropping their Pac-10 opener at Arizona.

Anderson's 3-pointer with 7:50 left cut the Cougars' lead to
56-46. But Washington State again had an answer in its first game
since a 77-73 overtime upset of then-No. 7 Arizona last Saturday in
Pullman.

Bennett liked how his team responded right then.

"They're really excited about trying to turn this program
around," he said. "These kids have taken their lumps and paid
their dues. … They've gotten their teeth kicked in lot of
times."

The Cougars are tied with Notre Dame for 22nd in this week's
poll after their great start under Bennett, who took over the
program this season from his father, Dick. The team is in the
rankings for the first time since Feb. 1, 1983, when it was ranked
18th under coach George Raveling.

"A loss and we're definitely out of the rankings," Harmeling
said. "We knew we couldn't let it go to our heads."

The only other time the Cougars were ranked since 1950 was for a
one-week period in late February 1980.

Ayinde Ubaka had 16 points to move within 31 of 1,000 for his
career and Eric Vierneisel added 10, but the two combined to go
4-for-17 on 3-pointers as Cal shot 7-of-29 from long range.

"We can't just say Washington State anymore," Ubaka said.
"They're not a runover team. They're a good team. ... They did a
great job of executing. They capitalized on our mistakes and our
laziness on defense. That's what great teams do. They're not the
old Washington State."

The Bears struggled to establish any kind of offensive rhythm in
the paint against the athletic Cougars, who didn't allow Cal its
10th rebound of the game until early in the second half.

"They're a team that's both experienced and really has some
guys who have played a lot of basketball in this league and guys
who are getting better," Cal coach Ben Braun said. "And they're
deep. ... They'll take you to the limit. They'll take you there
offensively and defensively."

Cal has dearly missed center DeVon Hardin, who is sidelined
until at least late February with a stress fracture in his left
foot sustained Dec. 19 against Furman. Since the 6-11 Hardin has
been out, Cal is averaging 26 3-point attempts per game.

The Cougars, picked to finish last in the conference this
season, made 10 of their first 16 shots while Cal went 6-for-16.
Washington State went on an early 11-0 run for a 17-5 lead before
the Bears followed with an 8-0 spurt of their own. The Cougars also
held an early 18-6 rebounding edge even when going with a smaller
lineup and wound up with a 36-27 advantage on the boards.

"They have a lot of athletic guys and they really crash the
boards hard," Anderson said. "They outrebounded us again, which
is something we really need to work on, especially me."

Washington State shot 55 percent in the first half, hitting 12
of its first 16 two-point field goals, on the way to a 40-28 lead
at the break.

The Cougars are 7-9 as a ranked team.