WSU held its final regular-season home game at Beasley Coliseum this evening, hosting the Washington Huskies in front of a rowdy Beasley crowd. The Huskies opened the game on a 6-0 run with a pair of high-flying dunks, but the Cougs retaliated with a 14-0 run of their own. The WSU run lasted over six minutes and gave WSU an eight-point lead with 10:17 left to play in the half. The game continued with a second run by Washington to tie the game up at 14 before the eight-minute media timeout. The teams traded baskets back and forth for the remainder of the half as the Cougs benefited from early fouls by UW and went to the line often - converting 11-of-12 free throws in the first half. At halftime the game was all tied up at 28. Returning from the locker room, the Cougs swapped buckets with the Huskies before Brock Motum drove the baseline and rose up for a massive jam over UW's Terrence Ross with 18:13 left. Abe Lodwick and Marcus Capers followed Motum's jam with a breakaway dunk and lay in that brought the ZZU CRU to a roar and gave WSU a seven-point lead with 17 minutes to play. The Cougars continued to extend their lead to 11 until Washington's Austin Seferian-Jenkins was issued a technical foul with 13:09 left after shoving off Reggie Moore as the two walked past each other. WSU had the opportunity to extend its lead further; however, poor second half free throw shooting troubled the Cougars. With WSU missing free throws, the Huskies clawed their way back into the game, forcing a 47-47 tie with 7:50 left in the game. Both teams continued to make buckets, unable to extend their lead to more than two. With only 51 seconds left to play, the Cougars faced a one-point deficit and Washington had the ball. A blocking foul committed by Abe Lodwick sent UW to the line where it converted 1-of-2, giving itself a two-point cushion. WSU brought the ball back up the court and called a quick timeout to allow Patrick Simon to sub into the game and attempt a 3-pointer that fell short. The missed shot left the Cougs no choice but to foul with only 10 seconds left. UW extended its lead to four and a last second shot by Simon also rimmed out as the Cougars fell to Washington at home, 59-55.
Player(s) of the Game: Senior pair: Capers & Lodwick. Being the last home game, tonight's Player of the Game should go to a senior on the team, but there were two impressive performances by seniors tonight. Abe Lodwick scored eight points and pulled in nine rebounds tying his career-high. In addition, Marcus Capers tied a season-high and set a personal conference-high with 14 points. Capers also dished out five assists and pulled in six rebounds. The pair was instrumental in keeping WSU in the game until the very end. Congratulations to all the seniors!
Play of the Game: Motum's one-handed throw-down over a Husky. Anyone in attendance of tonight's game would agree that the Play of the Game was Brock Motum's posterizing jam over Washington's Terrence Ross. Motum cut the basket along the baseline and Reggie Moore dished Motum the ball. Motum took two steps and rose up over Ross to throw down a rim-rattling jam that sent the Beasley crowd into a frenzy. When the crowd finally settled down, it was discovered that the official had also called a blocking foul on Ross and Motum went to the line for a free throw. Despite missing the free throw, the dunk sparked a 12-0 run by the Cougs.
Turning Point: The final buzzer. There were runs by both teams in this game as one team would extend their lead and the other would pull them back in. Throughout the game there were nine ties and eight lead changes. Even with only 51 seconds left, WSU was trailing by just one point and a last second shot by Simon nearly brought the Cougs to within one. For the second time in three games the Cougs lost by just four points.
Stat of the Game: First half free throws and second half free throws. This game was a tale of two halves for WSU when it came to free throws. In the first half, WSU sunk 11-of-12 from the charity stripe and replaced the Cougs' lackluster field goal percentage of .267. In the second half the opposite became true as the team shot .455 percent from the floor, but only converted on 6-of-20 free throws. The poor second-half free throw shooting eventually cost the Cougs much needed points at the end of the game as WSU lost by only four points.
The Cougars are now 6-10 in Pac-12 play and 14-14 overall. WSU now travels to Los Angeles for their final two regular-season games against UCLA and USC. The Cougs will first face UCLA Thursday March 1 at 7:30 p.m. and then will play USC the following Saturday March 3 at 3 p.m. Following the final two regular-season games, the Cougs will return to Pullman to prepare for the Pac-12 Tournament beginning March 7 in Los Angeles.
The Cougars may only have one game this week, but they have been hard at work. From practices to video shoots, radio interviews, and community service events, this WSU team has been all over the Palouse this weekend. Click the link above to find a gallery full of these photos and more from the team's activities this week.
Don't forget to come support your Cougs as they take on the Washington Huskies Saturday at 5 p.m. at Beasley Coliseum in their final regular-season home game. Go Cougs!
The Cougars welcomed the Arizona State Sun Devils to a 'grayed-out' Beasley Coliseum this evening in a televised event on Root Sports NW. This is the second game in a three-game homestand for WSU. The Cougars opened the game on a 4-0 run spurred by a Brock Motum layin. The quick buckets forced an ASU timeout to prevent any further momentum. But the timeout proved fruitless, as freshman DaVonte' Lacy had a massive jam coming out of the timeout, to give the Cougs a six-point lead. The streak continued as senior Abe Lodwick sank a 3-pointer to give WSU a 10-0 lead with 16:55 left in the half. The Sun Devils finally managed to get on the board with a jumper on the ensuing possession. Lodwick hit a second three to give WSU a 13-2 lead before the game went scoreless for over three minutes until Arizona State nailed a 3-pointer with 11:26 to play in the half. However, the Cougs would respond with a 7-0 run, forcing a second Sun Devil timeout. WSU continued to extend its lead to 27-8 with only 6:03 left in the first half. Then, with 5:30 left to play in the half, Arizona State's Chris Colvin received a technical foul, allowing Reggie Moore to knock down a pair of free throws, extending WSU's lead to 29-8. This evoked a "single digits" chant from the ZZU CRU, taunting ASU for their lack of points with only five minutes to play in the half. When the first-half buzzer sounded the Cougars lead by 28 and the Sun Devils hadn't even reached double digits with a 36-8 score. Arizona State returned with a vengeance in the second half, opening on a 10-2 run, before DaVonte' Lacy snapped the Cougs' sluggish play with a 3-pointer. The Sun Devils continued to claw back into the game, coming as close as 12 points with 13:06 left to play. However, the momentum would swing back towards the Cougs as sophomore Patrick Simon came in off the bench to drain a three from the corner. Redshirt-sophomore D.J. Shelton continued the push with back-to-back dunks that brought the Beasley crowd to a roar and gave WSU a 50-33 lead with 11:26 left. ASU continued to slowly close the gap on WSU, but the Cougars used their nearly 30-point lead from the first half to maintain a comfortable lead and cruise to a 22-point victory, 72-50.
Player of the Game: DaVonte' Lacy. After a sub-par performance Thursday night against Arizona, freshman DaVonte' Lacy outperformed the rest of the Cougar team tonight, dropping a team-high 17 points and dishing out four assists while pulling in three defensive rebounds. Lacy shot an impressive 6-of-11 from the field including four from beyond the arc. He even outscored WSU's leading scorer, Brock Motum, who added 16 points, but only managed one rebound. At halftime the Tacoma native was single-handedly leading the Sun Devils by six, 14-8.
Play of the Game: Lacy's posterizing, and-one jam. DaVonte' Lacy also earns today's Play of the Game. The Cougars were off to a good start in the game, but Arizona State had just called timeout to prevent WSU from gaining any serious momentum. However, Lacy made sure the momentum continued with a posterizing jam over ASU's Jonathan Gilling. Lacy cut to the basket along the baseline and received a pass from senior Marcus Capers. Gilling stepped in to prevent an easy lay up, but Lacy went up and over Gilling, drawing the foul on the play as he slammed the ball home. The dunk set the tone for the rest of the half and the game, as the Cougs led the entire way and coasted to a 72-50 victory.
Turning Point: Simon's three with 13 minutes left. The start of the second half began shaky for the Cougars as ASU set out to close the gap on the Cougs. The Sun Devils stifling defense was creating problems for WSU's starting lineup and had forced three-straight turnovers. Coach Bone decided to shuffle the lineup around, putting in redshirt-freshman Dexter Kernich-Drew and sophomore Patrick Simon. The pair came off the bench and played oppressive defense. Then, with 12:59 left to play in the game, Simon sunk a 3-pointer from the corner, bringing life back to the crowd and spurring an 11-2 run that lasted three and a half minutes and gave the Cougs a 21-point lead with 9:29 left to play.
Stat of the Game: Point distribution. While the Cougars only had two players break into double digits, the distribution of points by WSU helped them win this game. DaVonte' Lacy led the Cougs with 17 points, followed closely by Brock Motum with 16. Marcus Capers added nine, while Abe Lodwick and D.J. Shelton each scored eight points. Compare this to ASU who only had one player score in double digits and no other player score more than six points. The distribution allowed the Cougars to turn to any player on the floor to score points when another was being closely guarded. Needless to say, if WSU continues to have so many hot hands, they will be tough to stop.
The Cougars are now 6-9 in Pac-12 play and 14-13 overall. WSU will hold their final regular season home game of the season next Saturday at 5 p.m. against the Washington Huskies at Beasley Coliseum. The game will be televised regionally on ROOT Sports NW and fans are encouraged to come as early as Friday night to camp out for the game and secure a good seat. Following the game next Saturday, the Cougars will travel to Los Angeles to face UCLA and USC for their final regular season games.
The WSU Cougars welcomed the Arizona Wildcats to Beasley Coliseum in a nationally televised event on FSN. This is the first game of a three-game homestand for the Cougars. The game was very slow what with it being on television and the teams having a combined 39 fouls. The Cougars opened the game on a 7-0 run that forced the Wildcats to take a 30-second timeout to slow WSU's momentum. Following the timeout, the Wildcats returned the favor and tied the game up at 11-11 with 13:17 left to play in the first half. For the remainder of the half the Cougars and Arizona traded buckets back and forth as neither team was able to pull away from the other. Entering the locker room at halftime, the Wildcats maintained a one-point lead, 40-39. The second half brought more back-and-forth battling as the score was tied on 11 occasions throughout the game and the lead changed 11 times. The Cougars tried to control the speed of the game, slowing the ball down when they had possession, while Arizona was looking to fast break any chance it got. As time winded down, no team could escape the other's grasp. With 1:04 left to play, the game was tied at 69-all. Arizona jumped out to a three-point lead off a layup and made free throw by Jesse Perry and WSU took possession of the ball with 38 seconds left, facing a three-point deficit. With 21 seconds left, Brock Motum forced up a 3-pointer as he leaned into his defender to draw the foul. Much to the Arizona bench's dismay, a foul was called and Motum was sent to the line for three shots and a chance to tie the game. Motum stepped up to the line for his first shot, the crowd went silent, and Motum released the ball. This time, much to the Cougars' dismay, the shot bounced off the rim. Motum repeated his free throw ritual once more, trying to bring WSU to within one, but the second free throw also rimmed out. Coach Bone decided to take a timeout before Motum's final shot to regroup and get the team on the same page following the free throw. Following the timeout, Motum stepped up for one final free throw and sunk it to the bottom of the net. After the free throws, the Cougars were forced to foul to stay in the game. The Wildcats made 4-of-4 free throws in the last 19 seconds. Despite a layup by Reggie Moore that brought the game to within two again, the Wildcats were able to hold on, making a second pair of free throws to give themselves a four-point lead and 76-72 victory.
Player of the Game: Reggie Moore. Reggie Moore earns tonight's Player of the Game award. Despite Brock Motum's 28-point performance, Moore was crucial in keeping this game as close as it was. With senior Faisal Aden out for the season, Moore has stepped into a more prominent scoring role on the team. He made a season-high eight field goals and scored a season-high 21 points while going 4-of-4 from the free throw line. In addition, Moore dished out four assists and pulled in two rebounds.
Play of the Game: Motum lob to Shelton for the jam. Tonight's Play of the Game couldn't have come at a more crucial time. With 3:25 left to play in the game and the Cougars trailing by only two points, Brock Motum lobbed a pass in to D.J. Shelton in the key. Shelton caught the ball in stride and rose up to slam it home with one hand. The play brought the Beasley crowd to a roar and tied the game at 67-67.
Turning Point: The final buzzer. As previously stated, this game had 11 ties, the last coming with only 1:04 remaining. Down the stretch, this was either team's game. Even with on 10 seconds remaining, WSU trailed by only two points as the Wildcats stepped up to the free throw line to extend the lead to four. Following the free throws, Reggie Moore raced up the court with the ball and shot a contested 3-pointer. The shot did not fall and there was a last-second scramble for the loose ball as the final buzzer sounded.
Stat of the Game: Bench points. The Cougars were severely outscored off the bench. The Wildcats' bench was able to score 25 points in the game, while WSU's only managed eight points. Redshirt-junior Mike Ladd and redshirt sophomore D.J. Shelton, who usually score the majority of the bench points for the Cougs now that Faisal Aden is out, scored a combined seven points. Redshirt-freshman Dexter Kernich-Drew also added a point for WSU. In a game decided by only four points, the 17-point difference by the benches proved to by a difference-maker.
The Cougars are now 5-9 in Pac-12 play and 13-13 overall. WSU returns to action Saturday at 5 p.m. against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Beasley Coliseum. The game will be televised regionally on ROOT Sports NW and fans are encouraged to wear gray as the Cougs attempt to 'gray out' Beasley Coliseum. The first 3,700 fans will receive a free gray t-shirt. In addition, it is 'Greek Night' and member of the WSU Greek community are encouraged to attend the game. The fraternity and sorority with the most members at the game Saturday will each receive reserved seating for the Cougars' final home game next Saturday, Feb. 25 as WSU hosts Washington at 5 p.m.
The WSU men's basketball team welcomed the UCLA Bruins to Beasley Coliseum this afternoon in a televised event on ROOT Sports. This was the most physical game played at Beasley Coliseum this season with plenty of pushing and shoving and a combined 36 fouls on both teams. The first half was close the entire way as the two teams traded buckets back and forth. Then, with 3:21 left in the half, UCLA's Anthony Stover committed a flagrant foul on Brock Motum, pushing him over backwards after Motum rebounded and put up a shot that tied the game at 25 all. Returning from the stoppage in play, WSU went on a 7-0 run, forcing UCLA to take a timeout to slow the Cougs momentum. During the run, WSU made back-to-back threes. The run gave the Cougs a 32-27 lead that carried them to halftime as they led 34-29 at the buzzer. Following a 20-minute intermission, the two teams returned and traded buckets as the Bruins brought themselves to within two at 40-38 with 16:39 left to play. However, the Cougs fought back with a free throw and layup by Motum and a three from senior Abe Lodwick to extend their lead to six. The Bruins then countered with a run of their own to take a 50-49 lead with 9:25 left to go in the game. The two teams swapped baskets as the Cougs attempted to keep the Bruins in range. With three minutes to play, Lodwick drained a three to cut UCLA's lead to four and the Beasley crowd got rowdy, trying to spur a WSU run. Despite the fans' efforts, the shot proved to be the last field goal for over three minutes. With only 30 seconds left, and WSU still trailing 58-54, the Cougs were forced to foul to stop the clock. The Cougars only hope was that UCLA wouldn't convert clutch free throws and WSU could score off the missed shots. The Bruins gave WSU plenty of opportunities, going 5-of-9 in the final seconds, but an offensive rebound by UCLA, and a turnover by the Cougs prevented WSU from getting enough attempts to score. When the Cougs did manage to get the ball to their side of the court, junior Reggie Moore was able to knock down back-to-back threes that kept WSU's chances of winning alive. A last-second, full-court heave by Motum was on target, but fell a few feet short of the rim and the Cougs fell to the Bruins for the 19th-straight time in Pullman, 63-60. Mark it down in your record books: This is the first time this season WSU has lost at Beasley (8-1 on the season) and the first loss in 11 games on Friel Court. The last loss at Beasley was also to the Bruins last season when the Cougs lost, 58-54, in overtime.
Player of the Game: Brock Motum. For the second-straight game, Brock Motum earns the Player of the Game award. Motum posted the third double-double of his career with 25 points and 11 rebounds. In addition, Motum went 9-of-18 from the field and 5-of-6 from the stripe. Motum's 11 rebounds was a team-high and helped the Cougs outrebound the Bruins 37-30.
Play of the Game: Lodwick's one-handed, put-back dunk. Senior Abe Lodwick takes today's Play of the Game with his put-back jam early in the game at the 13:22 mark in the first half. Redshirt freshman Dexter Kernich-Drew caught a pass in the deep corner and rose up for a 3-pointer. The shot missed off the rim, but Lodwick was there to clean up jumping and hanging in the air long enough to grab the ball with one hand, and throw it back down into the rim in front of a ZZU CRU that exploded after the play.
Turning Point: The final buzzer. As previously stated, this game was close the entire way. There were 15 lead changes and four ties and neither team took more than a seven-point lead at any point during the game. Both coaches did a good job calling timeouts to prevent any extended runs by the other team. Even with only one second left the game was still close. UCLA held a three-point lead and Motum's last-second toss looked as if it could fall. Nevertheless, it didn't and the game was decided when the buzzer sounded.
Stat of the Game: Points off turnovers. The Cougars were severely outscored when it came to turnovers. While WSU didn't have significantly more turnovers than UCLA (15 for WSU and 10 for UCLA), the Bruins capitalized more frequently on WSU mistakes. The Bruins managed 18 points off WSU's turnovers, while the Cougs were only able to score three points off UCLA's mishaps.
The Cougars are now 4-7 in Pac-12 play and 12-11 overall. WSU returns to action next weekend as they hit the road to face the Oregon schools. The Cougs face Oregon State (15-8, 5-6) Thursday at 7 p.m. and then travel to Eugene to face Oregon (16-6, 7-3) at 2 p.m. in a televised event the following Saturday at 3 p.m. That game can be seen on the Comcast Sports Network NW channel.
The Cougars returned to Beasley Coliseum this evening to host the USC Trojans. This evening started off much better than last weekend's, as the Cougs opened the game on a 10-3 run in which the Trojans were forced to call two timeouts to slow WSU's momentum. But USC would return from the first media timeout and go on a 10-1 run that put it up 13-11 with 12:30 left to play in the half. During the run, the Cougs only attempted one field goal, which they missed, compared to USC which went 4-of-6 from the floor including two 3-point field goals. Following the 12-minute media timeout, WSU returned with an 8-0 run of its own, spurred by a Brock Motum lay in, and took back the lead, 19-13. For the remainder of the half the Cougs and Trojans traded buckets as WSU was able to maintain a single-digit lead. Entering the locker room at the half, the Cougs held a six-point lead, 30-24. The second half consisted of a series of runs by both teams in which the Cougars would extend their lead and USC would pull the Cougs back in. The half began with a run by WSU, extending its lead to 14 by the 13:24 mark before the Trojans would slow the Cougars. USC returned the favor with an 11-2 run of their own that cut WSU's lead down to four with 6:42 left to play. WSU made a short run to put itself back up by 11 with the help of free throws by Motum and Mike Ladd. However, USC wasn't going down without a fight and cut the Cougar lead to five with less than two minutes to play, but the Cougs were able to burn enough clock and force the Trojans to foul sending the Cougs to the stripe where they converted 2-of-3 to give the Cougs a seven-point victory, 60-53.
Player of the Game: Brock Motum. Brock Motum earns this evening's Player of the Game as he posted the only double-digit performance of the night for the Cougs with 26 points. Motum shot 9-of-11 in the game and 7-of-10 from the stripe while pulling in eight rebounds. Last weekend against the Sun Devils, Motum posted a career-high 34 points and is now averaging a team-high 16.8 while shooting .576 from the floor.
Play of the Game: Brock Motum fake and finish. Although DaVonte' Lacy also had an impressive play early in the game, Motum also receives tonight's Play of the Game. Motum had control of the ball on the wing early in the second half and made a quick, one-step juke move to throw his defender off balance allowing Motum to make an explosive, one-dribble, three-step drive to the basket, elevate in the open lane, and slam it home with emphasis.
Turning Point: When USC started fouling. This game was close throughout. Both teams exchanged runs as the Cougs would extend their lead and the Trojans would cut it back down. With only 1:43 to play, the Cougs maintained a five-point lead, but USC was on an 8-2 run and attempting to take one final lead. However, WSU was able to burn enough clock and prevent any Trojan field goals and USC was forced to foul with less than 30 seconds to go, signaling to the crowd and the Cougars that the game was over.
Stat of the Game: Free throws. The Cougs shot 16 more free throws than the Trojans on the night and committed a season-low eight fouls. WSU was able to convert 14-of-19 from the stripe while USC was limited to only three attempts, two of which it made. Free throws proved to be a difference-maker in this game as WSU held on to win by seven points.
The Cougars are now 4-6 in Pac-12 play and 12-10 overall. WSU returns to action this Saturday at 2 p.m. as it faces UCLA (5-5, 12-10) in a televised event on ROOT Sports. Following the game Saturday, the Cougs will hit the road to face the Oregon schools down in Oregon the following weekend.