On Wednesday, Washington State pounded a Grambling team that had seven players on the bench. On Saturday afternoon, the Cougars pounded Eastern Washington, but this time it was WSU that was short-handed. Read on.
• Coming in, the Washington State coaching staff was expecting a stern test that could turn into a battle of wills. Eastern Washington had played Gonzaga tough in McCarthey, one of the toughest places to play in the Northwest. They had played Oregon tough in Eugene, leading late before falling. And they were coming off a relatively easy win over Idaho. The Eagles had played hard every game, physical in most every possession. Ken Bone and his staff stressed how the Cougars were going to have to match that intensity. They did and then some. It was by far the best defensive game WSU has played this season, an assessment Ken Bone agreed with. “We thought it was,” he said, adding the Cougars did the “little things, head on a swivel, we were in the gaps, ready to help, we knew where the better shooters were. I just thought our focus was outstanding.” And it showed. Look at these shooting lines from the Eagles: Cliff Colimon, 1-11; Jeffrey Forbes, 1-8; Collin Chiverton, 3-11; Jordan Hickert, 1-5; and Cliff Ederaine, 1-8. The Eagles had 44 missed shots from the field. With everyone playing with effort on the defensive end, the Cougars' team defense was almost unbreakable. … Though WSU shot 50 percent from the floor, the Cougars were still too loose with the ball, turning it over 21 times. Some of that can be attributed to Eastern's aggressiveness and quickness. But some of it was just carelessness. And Reggie Moore was at the forefront, with nine. Asked to explain it, Moore joked, “Brock just missing all my passes,” earning a laugh. But he also owned it, adding, “you've got to take better care of it, be more focused about it.” … That previously mentioned Eastern aggressiveness led to foul trouble for the Eagles all game long. “When you force 21 turnovers from a Pac-12 school,” Eastern coach Jim Hayford said, you are bound to get into foul trouble. “Usually turnovers forced and fouls have a pretty good correlation,” he said. … We have our game story online already and there is this photo gallery from Dan Pelle.
• Here are some game highlights, courtesy of WSU …
• That's it for tonight. We'll be back in the morning with our usual post. Until then …