FROM PULLMAN — The dust has settled from a wild finish, one that saw the Cougars hold on for a 67-66 win over Pittsburgh in the first game of the CBI's 3-game championship series. We have an overview of the game after the jump.
PLAYER OF THE GAME — Abe Lodwick. What else can you say about the senior from Bend, Oregon? He's been on fire lately, scoring another 16 points tonight to help compensate for the absence of leading scorer Brock Motum. Lodwick scored 10 points in the first half to keep the Cougars within three at halftime, then made a big 3-pointer down the stretch. Ten days ago, Lodwick's career-high was 13 points. He's bested that mark in all three of WSU's games since. Charlie Enquist deserves some kind of mention, too. He played 27 minutes and scored nine points, one of a handful of players who were asked to do more with Motum out of the game. Enquist did everything that could have been expected of him tonight, even sticking a step-back jumper on the baseline. He admitted he was pretty gassed at the end of the game, but he stayed on the floor and gave WSU some valuable minutes.
PLAY OF THE GAME — How about D.J. Shelton's blocked shot on Tray Woodall? Yes, Pitt got another look at the hoop after that. But the fact that Shelton was even on the floor speaks volumes about how hard WSU had to fight for this one. As Bone mentioned, it was a rare occurrence to have both Shelton and Enquist on the floor at the end of the game. But Shelton, like Enquist, did what was needed of him and was in the right place at the right time.
KEY STAT — Pitt shot just 9-27 from the field in the second half, the reason WSU was able to build a 60-48 lead and hang on. The Panthers made 15-27 in the first half. Some more important numbers — the Cougars had just eight turnovers, shot 51. 2 percent from the field and made 9-15 from 3-point range. Again, all without Motum. I thought Big East teams were known for their defense?
QUOTABLE — “LeBron is my cousin.” — Charlie Enquist, talking about his step-back jumper. I think this is an inside joke. I am not on the inside. But it's still funny.
NEXT UP — At Pittsburgh, 4 p.m. Wednesday (HDNet). The Panthers and Cougars are sharing a charter flight out of Lewiston on Tuesday morning, so they'll get to know each other well, as Bone said afterward. A win gives WSU the CBI championship. Doesn't sound as if Motum has much of a chance to play in that one, either.