FROM PULLMAN — We watched the decisive third game of the CBI championship series from Applebee's on Friday afternoon, and put together our postgame review after the Cougars came up just short of a championship. Read on.
PLAYER OF THE GAME — Reggie Moore scored 18 points and set a few milestones along the way. His five assists allowed him to surpass Donminic Ellison as WSU's all time single-season leader with 193. And after making 8-for-11 from the free throw line, Moore now holds the CBI record for most free throws made in the tournament with 48. And again, he was the Cougars' most consistent offensive threat without Brock Motum. Mike Ladd chipped in 12 points on 4-4 shooting. Perhaps he should have looked to shoot more.
PLAY OF THE GAME — The Cougars were never really in the game the last eight minutes or so, but had a chance after Charlie Enquist snagged a rebound after a rare stop with 3:24 left and WSU trailing by six. But Pitt stole Enquist's outlet pass and Tray Woodall made a pair of free throws to extend Pitt's lead to eight. That essentially shut the door on WSU's comeback hopes.
KEY STAT — The teams made the same number of 3-pointers and the same number of free throws, and both teams shot better than 50 percent from the field. The number that stands out to me is Pitt's three turnovers. Hard not to win when you take care of the ball that well. WSU turned it over nine times, an acceptable number. But it just wasn't good enough today.
QUOTABLE — Wasn't there, but we'll go with an excerpt from assistant coach Jeff Hironaka's Twitter account: “Sorry to Cougar fans for not getting the win. In defeat I am still proud of how this team finished. Thanks to the team & fans for everything.”
NEXT UP — We'll know when they release next season's schedule. But there are some pressing offseason issues. Brock Motum will likely need some time off to recover from his ankle sprain. Then he has to decide whether he's definitely returning next season (I'd be surprised if he didn't). Mike Ladd's injured right thumb will almost certainly require surgery. Demarquise Johnson and Richard Peters need to get eligible. All things to keep an eye on.