PULLMAN, Wash. – The Washington State University men’s basketball team will take on Hawaii in the return of the Cougar Hardwood Classic, set for, Saturday, Dec. 13 at Seattle’s KeyArena, Idol Sports and Entertainment announced Tuesday.
The 2014 Cougar Hardwood Classic will mark the ninth in 10 years, as last year’s event did not take place due to venue conflicts. The Cougar Hardwood Classic began in 2005 against Utah. WSU has also faced San Diego State (2006), The Citadel (2007), Montana State (2008), LSU (2009), Portland (2010), Pepperdine (2011) and Buffalo (2012) in the game at KeyArena. The Cougars are undefeated at 8-0 in the Cougar Hardwood Classic.
“Each year the Cougar Hardwood Classic is an excellent opportunity to take our program to Seattle where there are so many great Coug fans ready to come out and support us,” WSU head coach Ernie Kent said. “We are excited to have the chance to continue to grow the event as we battle an outstanding Hawaii team this year. It should make for a great basketball game for all the fans.”
This year marks the seventh all-time meeting between WSU and Hawaii, as the two teams last met Dec. 29, 1991 at the Rainbow Classic at Honolulu. The closest the Cougars and Warriors have been to meeting since then was at the 2009 Diamond Head Classic hosted by Hawaii at Honolulu. Both teams competed in the tournament, but they did not meet as WSU ended up as the runner-up to Butler. The Cougars hold a 5-1 advantage in the series with the Warriors and have won the last four matchups. WSU’s only defeat in the series came Dec. 9, 1953, at Pullman, a 47-45 setback.
The Cougars are beginning the Ernie Kent era, as the veteran head coach took the reins of the team March 31, 2014, becoming the school’s 18th head coach. The team also features three returning starters in seniors DaVonté Lacy, Dexter Kernich-Drew and Jordan Railey. Lacy is on pace to become the Cougars’ all-time career 3-point leader, needing just 61 3’s this season to match Klay Thompson’s record of 242 which he accomplished in three seasons from 2009-11.
Tickets for the game will go on sale Friday, Sept. 5. For more information about the Cougar Hardwood Classic, including ticket information, continue to check www.wsucougars.com and www.cougarsinseattle.com.