FROM SALT LAKE CITY — We'll be back later with some more thoughts and quotes, but for now, a quick summary of Washington State's shocking loss to Utah tonight at the Huntsman Center.
PLAYER OF THE GAME — Should have been Brock Motum, who was masterfully efficient — 27 points on 10-12 shooting and eight rebounds in 37 minutes — but since Utah guard Josh Watkins was so clutch tonight, he gets the nod. Watkins scored 20 points on 7-18 shooting, but always seemed to put the ball in the basket when his team needed it. A product, of course, of the Cougars not getting the stops they needed. Watkins made the shot that forced overtime, as well as the jumper in the final seconds of overtime to seal the win. He also had six assists in 40 minutes.
PLAY OF THE GAME — We'll go outside the box here. Instead of Watkins' last-second shot, I think the real crucial play was Dijon Farr's 3-pointer to trim WSU's lead to three points with 3:19 to play. Reggie Moore had just converted a run-out and-one to put the Cougars ahead by six points against a team used to losing. And Farr immediately put the Utes right back in it. If he misses and WSU goes down and scores to go ahead by eight or nine, maybe Utah packs it in from there.
KEY STAT — Was thinking it'd be WSU's one turnover in the second half (two if you count Lacy's at the end of overtime). But since they lost, the 10-22 performance from the free-throw line is what really sticks out. Perhaps most interesting about that number is that no player missed more than two attempts — five players missed two each, and two players missed two each. Little things that add up to a very embarrassing loss.
QUOTABLE — WSU coach Ken Bone, on his team's inability to jump on teams early: “I think we have a great group of kids, and there’s times that can hurt you. I’m not sure we have that killer instinct that we need to compete. We’ve got to get that if we’re going to win consistently.”
NEXT UP — Saturday at Colorado (1 p.m. PT, Root Sports). The Buffs dismantled Washington tonight, and have won five straight. They also beat this Utah team by 40 points last week.
Back with more later. We'll link our story when it's posted.