FROM PULLMAN — Another slugfest in this series resulted in a 68-63 win for Washington at Beasley Coliseum on Saturday. We have our capsulated tale of the tape after the jump. Read on.
PLAYER OF THE GAME — This was all set to be Will DiIorio, who made three 3-pointers and set a new career high with nine points. The argument could be made that he was WSU's most clutch player tonight. But the star of this game was probably Desmond Simmons, who guarded Brock Motum more effectively than maybe anybody has this season. Simmons said afterward the goal was to simply prevent Motum from catching the ball, then guard him as best he could straight-up if he did. Motum lamented missing some shots early, postulating that if he'd made a few, it might have changed the way Simmons guarded him. The only points Motum scored in the first half were off two put-backs, and he had just four field-goal attempts before halftime otherwise. He still finished with 15 points and five rebounds, but Simmons' defense was what kept him from making a bigger impact early. That might have ultimately been the difference in the game.
PLAY OF THE GAME — There are a bunch of important sequences to choose from here. There was Scott Suggs' tough jumper to put the Huskies ahead by a point with 1:29 remaining, then his breakaway layup to make it a 3-point game 30 seconds later. UW's back-to-back buckets resulting from two offensive rebounds were also important, as were Andrew Andrews' final four free throws.
STAT OF THE GAME — WSU made just 5-of-20 from 3-point range, and three of those makes were by DiIorio, a player who had attempted and made just one 3-pointer this season entering the game. The Cougars' lack of a perimeter game only compounded the troubles they had getting the ball to Motum.
QUOTABLE — “They did a great job of just denying him the ball. We tried throwing over the top, we tried sealing, we tried to do a few other things that we’re going to have to improve on prior to playing them again and anybody else that takes away the high post.” — WSU coach Ken Bone on trying to get the ball to Brock Motum
UP NEXT — A trip Wednesday to Stanford, followed by a game against California on Saturday. Stanford lost to UCLA earlier today. Cal beat USC.