The names of Beasley and Friel were not attached to the facility yet when the Washington State men’s basketball team opened its 1973-74 season.
At the Performing Arts Coliseum, Dec. 1, 1973, a crowd of 9,000 turned out to see the brand new venue and were treated to an 80-78 victory over LSU.
Sophomore Edgar Jeffries led four Cougars in double-figure scoring with 25 points. Freshman center Steve Puidokas contributed 18 points; sophomore Sam Miller had 14 and senior point guard Brad Jackson recorded a double-double with 10 points and 11 assists.
The Cougars bolted to a 14-2 lead behind six points from Miller. LSU clawed back within 25-22 before three buckets by Jeffries keyed a 10-4 run to put Washington State up 35-26 and the Cougars led 45-36 at intermission.
LSU trimmed the lead to four points at 59-55 and the teams traded baskets until Washington State held a 69-65 lead with 6:12 remaining. The Tigers closed within two points on a Collis Temple jumper with 5:41 left.
Three times LSU cut its deficit to a single point, but a pair of field goals by Ricky Brown, his only four points in the game, and a reverse layup by Jackson fought off the Tigers’ rally.
Washington State made 3-of-4 free throws in the final 1:09 to seal the victory in its new home.
Friel Court was named after Washington State head coach Jack Friel who led the Cougars to the 1941 NCAA title game. In 1981, the Coliseum was named in honor of Wallis Beasley, a past Washington State vice president.
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