FROM CORVALLIS — It'll be a happy bus ride from here to Eugene tonight, as the Cougars put together perhaps their best team effort of the season in an 83-73 win at Gill Coliseum. Read on for our game in review.
PLAYER OF THE GAME — It's not fair for Brock Motum not to get this just because he scores so many points each game. He had another 24 tonight to go along with nine rebounds. So he deserves a nod. But the honor goes tonight to D.J. Shelton, who had by far the finest game of his young career. He scored 14 points and grabbed nine boards — six offensive — both career-high numbers. Bone said afterward Shelton's attitude and work ethic in practice have remained steady despite a lack of playing time, and tonight, he finally got his chance. He scored six points during the 12-0 run that helped WSU to a 15-point lead at halftime, and OSU couldn't keep him off the offensive glass. As Motum said, that adds an entirely different dimension to this team.
PLAY OF THE GAME — Easy. They call Jared Cunningham “kiss the sky” around here for his leaping ability, but Marcus Capers one-upped — and up, and up, and upped — him on an alley-oop inbounds pass from Moore early in the second half, soaring high, grabbing the ball with both hands and flushing it. That put WSU ahead by 17, one of those “it's that kind of night” type of plays that completely deflated the Gill crowd.
KEY STAT — Take your pick. I'll go with Moore's 11 assists — and only two turnovers — which is a season-high, and one off his career high. He had nine assists against OSU in the first meeting between these teams. He had that many in the first half tonight. When he's assisting at a ratio that high, it means he's getting dribble penetration and breaking down the opposing defense. OSU had no answer for him.
QUOTABLE — “My coach always tells me — and my teammates always tell me — nobody can stay in front of me, so I just kind of took that into mind and just attacked the basket, looking to score. When you look to score they’ve got to step up on you, so I just started dishing off.” — Reggie Moore
NEXT UP — Saturday at Oregon (17-7, 8-4), 3 p.m. (no TV). The Ducks destroyed Washington tonight, 82-57, and beat the Cougars 92-75 in Spokane in WSU's Pac-12 opener.