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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Men Bounce Czechs to Open Exhibition Season
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 11/12/1999
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Nov. 12, 1999

PULLMAN, Wash. -- Washington State's men's basketball team took yet another step into the Paul Graham era with their 72-58 exhibition victory over USK Erpet Praha of Prague, Czechoslovakia Friday night at Friel Court.

A crowd of 2,370 was on hand to watch the Cougars compete under Graham -- most recently an assistant coach at Oklahoma State from 1992 to 1999 -- for the first time.

WSU's Jan-Michael Thomas led all scorers with 26 points, 18 coming in the first half. Chris Crosby scored 16 on 7-of-9 shooting and David Adams finished with an even 10 points. Blake Pengelly scored eight points to go along with his team-high five assists and seven rebounds.

Daniel Cyrulik was the USK Praha standout with 15 points and 12 rebounds.

It was the visitors who took the early lead, jumping out to a 7-2 advantage with less than four minutes expired from the game clock. WSU's senior threesome of Crosby, Pengelly and Thomas got the Cougars right back in it.

Thomas provided WSU's second score with a three-pointer at 16:37. Pengelly followed with a quick drive to the rim and an easy layin at 16:07 before getting his second assist on a Crosby jumper at 15:18. Thomas capped off the 9-0 run with a jump shot at 14:26 and the Cougars' never looked back from their 11-7 lead.

Petr Treml's jumper at 10:24 would bring USK Praha within two points, 17-15, but WSU would pour on the points in the final ten minutes of the first half to take a commanding 19-point lead at halftime. Down the stretch toward the intermission the Cougars knocked down four three pointers -- two apiece for Crosby and Thomas -- to compensate for some poor free throw shooting.

Despite a combined 9-of-10 from the free throw line by Pengelly, Thomas, Adams and Milton Riley, the Cougars' finished the first half shooting only 52 percent from the charity stripe with the rest of the team going a combined 0-of-9.

In the second half USK Praha chipped away at the 47-28 halftime deficit to get within nine points, 65-56 at 6:31, but could get no closer.

"We were the shorter team tonight and I'm definitely pleased with the way we played defense," Graham said. "That's a hard team to play against, they're big, they're old and they know how to pass. Defense is going to have to be our backbone."

USK (0-0) Sinisa Medenica 4-10 0-0 9, Amir Delalic 0-1 0-0 0, Daniel Cyrulik 6-12 3-3 15, Vaclav Hruby 1-2 0-0 2, Marian Pribyl 1-4 2-2 5, Frantisek Peleska 3-5 0-1 6, Ivo Luks 1-3 3-6 5, Lukas Kratky 1-1 4-4 6, Petr Treml 3-5 2-2 9, Pavel Kubalek 0-1 1-2 1, Team 20-44 15-20 58.

WSU (0-0) Tyrone Evans 2-3 0-3 4, Chris Crosby 7-9 0-0 16, Mike Bush 3-8 0-3 6, Jan-Michael Thomas 8-18 6-8 26, Blake Pengelly 3-6 2-2 8, Nick Graham 0-0 0-0 0, David Adams 3-5 2-2 10, Milton Riley 0-0 2-2 2, Bryan Whitehead 0-2 0-2 0, Team 26-51 12-22 72.

Halftime - WSU 47, USK 28, 3-Point Goals - USK 3-13 (Medenica 1-4, Cyrulik 0-3, Pribyl 1-2, Treml 1-3, Kubalek 0-1), WSU 8-17 (Thomas 4-8, Crosby 2-3, Bush 0-1, Pengelly 0-2, Adams 2-3). Fouled Out - Kratky. Rebounds - USK 25 (Cyrulik 12), WSU 33 (Pengelly 7). Assists - USK 9 (Medenica, Cyrulik 3), WSU 10 (Pengelly 5). Total Fouls - USK 20, WSU 20. Technical fouls - None. A - 2,370. -30-

Washington State Cougars Men's Basketball
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