Washington State hosted the Oregon State Beavers today in its second game of the week at the Spokane Arena. The Cougars started off on a torrid pace, leading 18-9 with 13:53 left in the first half. The rest of the first half was a back and forth battle as the Cougars and Beavers exchanged highlight reel plays. Oregon State fought back late in the first half with a 7-0 run that cut the Cougars lead to just 2, 30-28, with 4:05 left. However, DaVonte' Lacy hit a three pointer in the corner, and WSU entered the half leading 40-35. Brock Motum led the team in scoring with 14 points on 6-11 shooting, including two three points which tied his career high. Coming out of the locker room both teams made several short runs before Lacy hit two-consecutive three pointers to give the Cougars a 60-50 lead, but the game was not over. Oregon State's Ahmad Starks and Roberto Nelson combined to hit four three pointers and the Beavers cut the Cougars lead to just 3, 77-74. Washington State closed the game out on free throws, shooting 9-12 (.750) from the line to seal the win 81-76.
Player of the Game:
Motum. Brock Motum led the charge for the Cougs from the opening tip, scoring 26 points on 10-of-15 shooting with 8 rebounds. Motum was the leading scorer in the first half with 14 points as he connected on two 3-pointers, which, at the time, tied a career high. He was not finished at halftime though, as he hit a third 3-pointer and spearheaded a defensive charge in the last 30 seconds of the game that resulted in 0-for-4 shooting by Oregon State, all while WSU held on to a slim lead. Motum finished with a career high three 3-pointers made and 15 field goal attempts, as well as tying a career high with 10 field goals made.
Play of the Game:
Capers one handed jam from Lacy. The Play of the Game was a great transitional effort by the Cougars that resulted in a thunderous slam by Marcus Capers. WSU's defense trapped Oregon State's Joe Burton in the paint and forced him to shoot a wild shot that was rebounded by DaVonte' Lacy. Lacy pushed the tempo before slowing down as he pulled out near the rim. He then found a cutting Capers who finished the Cougars fast break with an electric dunk.
Motum's tip-in. Washington State was in the midst of a struggle to hold onto a slim lead over the Beavers when Brock Motum tipped in a missed jumper by DaVonte' Lacy with 1:40 left that gave the Cougars a 73-66 lead. His tip in came on the heels of his third three pointer, which is a career high. Although the Beavers continued to make a late charge, the basket by Motum gave the Cougars some breathing room en route to a slim 81-76 victory.
Stat of the Game:
Free Throw Shooting. Free Throws would prove a difference in this game as the Cougars were able to shoot .792 from the free throw line and .750 (9-12) in the game's final three minutes. The Cougars set a season high in free throw percentage and free throws made and attempted (16 and 20 respectively) in the second half.
The Cougars are now 9-5 overall and 1-1 in the Pac-12 Conference. WSU will travel to Salt Lake City to face the Utah Utes in their first road Pac-12 game of the season, Tuesday, Jan. 5 at 6 p.m. Pacific Time. Washington State will then travel to Boulder, Colo. Saturday, Jan. 7 where it will take on the Colorado Buffaloes at 1 p.m. Pacific Time.
Waving the Flag for Wazzu,