Oct. 15, 2010
PULLMAN--Bohler Gym was filled to standing room only as the Washington State men's and women's basketball teams were on display for the second annual Midnight Mayhem, Friday.
The event kicked off with a 3-point shooting contest. On the women's side, redshirt freshman Ireti Amojo faced newcomer Sage Romberg. Amojo came out firing and went 10-for-15 to score 30 points. Though it was an impressive shooting display, Romberg did not back down, and drained eleven shots to win by three.
On the men's side, Ephrata, Wash., native Patrick Simon took on the junior college transfer Faisal Aden. Simon was the first to shoot, and did not hit his rhythm until after the first rack. After going 2-for-5 from above the key, Simon hit eight of his last 10 shots to finish with 30 points (10-15). The freshman proved to be too much for Aden, who finished with 18 points.
The shooting contest was followed by an eight-minute scrimmage for each squad. The women's team broke up into a Crimson Team and White Team. The two squads went back and forth during the first few minutes before the Crimson Team broke away for a 24-12 victory, including an 8-0 run to end the scrimmage. Junior Jazmine Perkins and senior Katie Calderwood led the way, each scoring six points in the win. Redshirt sophomore Katie Grad led the White Team with four points.
As the scrimmage progressed, so did the tempo. Head coach June Daugherty told the crowd beforehand to look for a fast paced Cougar team during the 2010-11 season, and the fans saw glimpses of that Friday night. The speedy newcomer, Rosetta Adzasu usually led the break for the Crimson Team, and found Calderwood and Perkins underneath the basket for easy layups.
The men's scrimmage was a crowd-pleaser and almost seemed like a warm-up for the dunk contest to follow. Klay Thompson scored the first points of the night for the Crimson Team, throwing down a one-handed put-back off the missed jumper by Ben Loewen. Not to be outdone, Marcus Capers slammed home back-to-back, ferocious two-handed slams to give his Gray team a 4-2 lead.
The two squads went back and forth for most of the game and ended at a 22-22 tie. The Crimson Team's highlight reel consisted of two monstrous dunks from Brock Motum and a 3-ponter from big man, DeAngelo Casto. The Gray Team was helped by a couple of huge put-back dunks by redshirt juniors Abe Lodwick and Charlie Enquist.
Nevertheless, the men did play some defense Friday night. Casto and Lodwick each welcomed a newcomer to the team with cruel blocks. Lodwick sent freshman Dexter Kernich-Drew down under, while Casto denied what appeared to be an easy layup for Aden.
The evening closed with a dunk contest between Kernich-Drew, Reggie Moore, Dre' Winston, Jr., and defending champion Marcus Capers. Kernich-Drew led things off by easily leaping over an audience member and coming down with a one-handed slam. Capers though, was not impressed. The Winter Haven, Fla., native flew over 6-11 sophomore Steven Bjornstad for a one-handed slam of his own.
During Winston, Jr.'s first dunk, he caught the ball after a high bounce and threw down a dunk from the baseline. During his second attempt, Winston, Jr., tossed an alley-oop to himself from the middle of the lane, and flushed it with authority. Kernich-Drew flew down lane for a one-handed windmill dunk in his second attempt. Capers and Moore each missed a dunk, leaving the two freshmen for a showdown in the finals.
Kernich-Drew started things off by jumping from the middle of the key, doing a 360 in the air and slamming a one-handed jam across his body. Knowing he had to provide something special, Wisnton, Jr., tried a 180 alley-oop but could not convert, leaving Kernich-Drew as the WSU dunk champion.
The women open the season with an exhibition game against Lewis-Clark State Nov. 7, while the men will open with an exhibition game against Lewis-Clark State Nov. 5.