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The game that was: WSU 60, USC 53

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — Washington State stayed perfect at Beasley this season with a 60-53 win over USC. Here's our overview.


PLAYER OF THE GAME — Brock Motum continues to look like an all-conference player. He led the Cougars with 26 points and eight rebounds tonight, and he was ultra-efficient in doing so — 9-11 from the field, 7-10 from the free throw line. Against a team as small as USC, it figured that Motum could really make a killing. Eleven field goals might not be enough for him, the way he's playing lately. But in a slow-down style of game against USC, that's not a bad number.

PLAY OF THE GAME — Again, we'll go with Motum, who tore down a tomahawk slam early in the second half to give the Cougars a 41-31 lead. They pushed the margin to 14 before USC fought back and cut it to four. But it never got closer than that.

KEY STAT — The Cougars' played man-to-man defense the entire game and forced nine turnovers. But the interesting number is that USC shot just three free throws, making two of them. Very hard to win on the road when you can't get to the foul line. And USC scored just 14 points in the paint.

QUOTABLE — “That’s on us. We need to prove to him that we can guard man to man. We’ve played well in a zone, but we also need to be able to play well in a man to man so either way we play it’s not going to hurt us. … I thought we took some good strides tonight. We still have a lot to work on.” — Motum, speaking about the challenge coach Ken Bone issued to the team about playing man-to-man

NEXT UP — Saturday vs. UCLA at 2 p.m. (Root). The Bruins lost, 71-69, at Washington on Thursday.

Christian Caple can be reached at christianc@spokesman.com. Twitter: @ChristianCaple


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