Dec. 10, 2010
SPOKANE, Wash. - Three Cougars scored in double-figures, led by junior Faisal Aden with 20, as Washington State men's basketball defeated Texas-Pan American, 74-52, Friday night in a `home game' at Spokane Arena.
The Cougars (7-1) got off to a slow start in the game, trailing the Broncs (3-8) by as many as five early in the first half. WSU clawed back from an early 6-1 deficit with 16:22 to go in the first half, using a 9-2 run to take a 10-8 lead with 13:49 to go in the half. The lead changed eight times in the first half before the Cougars took a 36-24 lead into the locker room and held on for good.
"The effort wasn't what I hoped, but I'm not shocked at what it was," WSU head coach Ken Bone said. "It's always difficult to come off a huge win or a devastating loss. As well as we played Wednesday night against Gonzaga and how excited the kids were in pretty much a packed house on campus, that was probably in the back of their minds the past few days and sometimes it's difficult to turn the page. I did think our effort was better in the second half, the last 10 minutes of the game."
Sophomore Brock Motum led WSU in the first half with nine points, scoring five of the team's first six points. He also accounted for the first three Cougar field goals. Motum finished with 13 points and tied Aden and DeAngelo Casto with a team-high seven rebounds. Aden led all scorers with 20 points on 4-of-6 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc.
Brandon Provost and Perry Petty led the Broncs with 10 points apiece, as Petty grabbed a team-high seven boards.
The Cougars continued to struggle on the boards, as they were outrebounded for the sixth time this season, this time by just a one rebound margin, 74-52. WSU's leading scorer Klay Thompson struggled from the field but finished with 15 points and four assists. The Cougs played in front of 4,382 fans at the arena.
"We just didn't come out with the energy we normally have, probably because this last week we had just been so up and so excited, you kind of need to come down," WSU sophomore Reggie Moore said. "This is probably a result of that. It is hard and of course (to play in front of fewer fans) every player likes to play when the crowd is rocking, that's a lot more fun, but we shouldn't let that set our team back at all. If we want to be a great team, we need to come out there and compete, no matter if there are zero people in the gym."
Washington State takes eight days off before returning to action Dec. 19 at Santa Clara in the frontend of a 14-day road trip that includes six games in three different cities.
"We have finals at school, so I think it will be good to take our mind off what's been going on," Motum said. "We just need to move on from everything and I think we will because we've matured as a team."