Tale of the tape: WSU 72, Portland 60
FROM PULLMAN — The score won't tell you how thoroughly the Cougars dominated the Portland Pilots on Saturday night. Maybe our capsulated look-back will. Read on.
PLAYER OF THE GAME — Have a feeling Brock Motum's name is going to be mentioned quite a bit in this space the rest of the season. The senior forward scored a season-high 29 points to go along with seven rebounds, though he was especially efficient in the second half. Motum made just 5 of his 14 field-goal attempts in the first half, but followed that by making 5 of 6 in the second. And while he didn't attempt a free-throw in the first half, Motum made 7-9 in the second. So there was quite an uptick there.
PLAY OF THE GAME — Always hard to find a turning point in a win as convincing as this one. Royce Woolridge's personal 9-point run in the first half jumps out as important, though, not only for what it did for WSU's lead, but for what it did for Woolridge's confidence. The sophomore guard missed all eight of his field-goal attempts Wednesday night against Idaho. He made 6-11 tonight (3-5 from 3-point range) and scored a career-high 20 points, along with seven rebounds and three assists. And zero turnovers. (Will DiIorio's first career 3-pointer is a runner-up in this category).
STAT OF THE GAME — Rebounding is going to be an issue this season for the undersized Cougars. But it wasn't tonight. WSU manhandled Portland on the glass to the tune of 45-27, a number made more impressive by the fact that Portland finished with four offensive rebounds despite missing 32 field-goal attempts.
QUOTABLE — “I hope he made some shots.” — Bone, wryly answering a question about DaVonte Lacy shooting around before the game. Bone said “there's a chance” Lacy could play Wednesday against Gonzaga, though there's no timetable in place for Lacy to return to practice. He hasn't played or practiced since injuring his left knee in WSU's loss to Kansas on Nov. 19.
UP NEXT — No. 12 Gonzaga comes to Pullman on Wednesday in an 8 p.m. game broadcast on ESPNU.