Welcome back to the Crimson ZZU Cougar fans! Thanks to all the 8,441 fans that were able to come out and catch the game despite the snow and ice outside. It got close there for a while, but the Cougars were able to pull away and defeat Portland, 84-68, in the sixth annual Cougar Hardwood Classic.
Stat of the Game: Hot shooting. Although the Cougars were close, they did not break the .600 clip from the field tonight. What they did do though was shoot .633 in the first half and .588 from the field throughout the game. On top of that, Klay Thompson had a solid night shooting, hitting at a .813 clip (13-for-16). He was also 3-of-4 from beyond the 3-point arc and a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line. His .813 clip marked the best of his career.
Player of the Game: Klay Thompson. As mentioned above, Klay had a solid shooting night. He finished with 35 points in 39 minutes while shooting .813 (13-for-16) from the field. He added six rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal. Thompson opened the game attempting the team's first four shots, and making them as he got his team out to a 9-4 lead.
Honorable Mention: Faisal Aden added 21 points, nine of them in less than a one-minute span, chipping in two steals. Marcus Capers was perfect from the field making both his shot attempts and 5-for-7 from the free throw line for nine points, adding five assists and three blocks.
Turning Point: Portland threatened late in the game, cutting the Cougar lead to as few as one with just over 10 minutes to go in the game. Just when it looked like WSU was pulling away, Portland snuck up once again. With the Cougs leading 64-57, Marcus Capers sparked the crowd and the team with a put back dunk off a Charlie Enquist miss. On Portland's second possession later, Faisal Aden and Capers teamed up for a steal that Capers throw to Faisal for a 3-pointer, as WSU went up 69-60 with 6:35 to go. On the next possession, Aden converted on an old-fashioned 3-point play for a 72-60 lead. Again the Cougars held the Pilots and Aden took advantage again with his ninth points in less than a minute as WSU went up 75-60 with 5:40 to. Aden stole the ball from Tim Douglas on Portland's next possession and threw it up to Capers who was fouled going for a dunk. Capers hit both shots and the Cougs went up 77-60 with 5:35 to go.
WSU remains on the road as the Cougs head to Fresno State, Friday, Nov. 26 for a 7 p.m. tipoff .
Keep it crimson,