Dec. 22, 2010
HONOLULU - Klay Thompson scored 28 points and the Cougars outscored the Bulldogs, 44-17 in the second half, as Washington State defeated Mississippi State, 83-57, Wednesday, in the opening game of the Diamond Head Classic at the Stan Sheriff Center.
The Cougars (9-1) trailed by one, 40-39, at halftime, as the Bulldogs (7-4) were led by Kodi Augustus's 13 first-half points. After Mississippi State took a 45-43 lead with 16 minutes to go, Washington State went on a 14-0 run to take a 12-point lead, 57-45, with 13:19 to go. During the run the Cougars hit four 3-pointers by four different players.
"Those three's add up quickly," WSU Head Coach Ken Bone said. "We're trying to get up and down the court a little bit. When you get up and down and hit some threes it adds up really fast."
The Bulldogs got as close as 11 points at 60-49 with 11:29 to go, before the Cougars held them scoreless until the 3:24 mark, taking a 75-49 lead. WSU went on for the 83-57 victory.
Thompson led all scorers with his 28 points as he was 10-for-20 from the field and 4-for-9 from beyond the 3-point arc. Fellow junior Faisal Aden added 20 points for the Cougars while tying his career high with seven rebounds.
Augustus led the Bulldogs with 19 points, while Brian Bryant added 14 points. Mississippi State shot just .345 (19-for-55) from the field and .286 (8-for-28) from beyond the 3-point arc. Ravern Johnson, who came in the game averaging 22.4 points per game was held to just three points on 1-for-10 shooting.
"He's (Johnson) a good player, real experienced, so that's just a testament to our defense as a team," Abe Lodwick said. "Marcus (Capers) was really physical with him and he didn't like it so it pushed him out of his game and that's why we were successful. It was a team effort."
The Cougars outrebounded their opponent for the first time since Nov. 30, grabbing 42 boards compared to the Bulldogs' 29. Twelve of WSU's boards came on the offensive end, as Aden and Brock Motum had three apiece.
Lodwick marked a season-high and tied his career-high with three 3-pointers on the day. He finished with nine points and six rebounds.
"It's just a confidence thing," Lodwick said. "I haven't had my shots go as much as I'd had liked at the start of the season. I feel good in my shot right now so hopefully I can keep it going."
Washington State shot well in the second half, finishing with a .500 clip (31-for-62) from the field and .500 (12-for-24) from 3-point. The Cougars continued their struggles from the free throw line with a .563 (9-for-16) mark, but shot .883 from the charity stripe in the second half.
Washington State will face No. 15 Baylor in the semifinals of the Diamond Head Classic, Thursday, Dec. 23 at 1:30 p.m. HT (3:30 p.m. PT). The game can be seen on ESPNU. WSU holds a 2-1 advantage in the all-time series, but Baylor won the last meeting, 58-52, Dec. 6, 2008 at Pullman. Baylor defeated San Diego, 83-50, Wednesday to advance to the semifinals.