Things couldn’t have gone much better for WSU in the first half, but the Cougs’ lead at the intermission isn’t as wide as it could have been.
Partly because they missed a couple of free throws late in the half. Partly due to a couple of big defensive breakdowns. And partly due to a brain fart from Derrick Low.
Low’s 3-pointer with 14 seconds left was the right shot at the wrong time – 10 seconds later would have been so much better. The Ducks took advantage, used all 14 seconds and found Maarty Luenen alone in the left corner for a 3-pointer.
The shot came after Brooks got to the rim and the WSU defense had to rotate to help. Brooks had scored one of his three first-half hoops on the previous possession, back-cutting behind Kyle Weaver for a layup. The Cougars rarely try to deny a wing-entry pass, which is why yielding the back cut was so out of character for WSU.
We’ll see which WSU defense shows up in the second half: The defense from the first 11 minutes (eight points) or the defense of the final 3:23 (10 points).