Tale of the tape: WSU 72, Utah Valley 49
FROM PULLMAN — Washington State cruised to what figures to be one of its easiest wins of the season, beating Utah Valley 72-49 at Beasley Coliseum. We have our usual game capsule, so read on.
PLAYER OF THE GAME — Dexter Kernich-Drew scored a career-high 14 points as one of four WSU players in double-figures. Kernich-Drew shot 6-11 from the field, including 2-6 from 3-point range. He also had an opportunity to throw down the highlight-reel dunk his teammates have longed for, but his bum ankle — coach Ken Bone said Kernich-Drew is probably only about 80 percent after tweaking the ankle on the final play of the Saint Martin's game — wouldn't allow him to push off hard enough. But this was easily his best game as a Cougar, and they're going to need him to have these kind of nights in order to be successful this season.
PLAY OF THE GAME — There was no turning point in this one as WSU got up big early and cruised the rest of the way. But the most impressive play was probably DaVonte Lacy's alley-oop pass to Mike Ladd after Lacy stole the ball from a Utah Valley player near midcourt.
STAT OF THE GAME — Not only did WSU turn the ball over just five times, but those five turnovers were committed by five different players. Meaning nobody turned the ball over more than once. That's especially important for point guard Royce Woolridge, who had six assists while giving the ball away only once in 27 minutes. Only Lacy played more (28).
QUOTABLE — “I think it’s going to tell us a lot of just who we are. We’ve been talking quite a bit about our identity and really who are we as a group? We can talk about it and hope for this and hope for that, but at the end of the day it’s what we see in these 40-minute outings. Now we’ve had a couple games on our home court. I think our guys have done a nice job and now it’s time to go on the road and play three games. So we’ll find out what we’re made of in a different fashion, I think, on the road.” — coach Ken Bone on WSU's three-game trip to Malibu and Kansas City
UP NEXT — A three-game trip to Malibu and Kansas City. WSU plays at Pepperdine on Friday night — its only non-televised game of the season, by the way — then heads to Kansas City for games against Kansas and either Texas A&M or Saint Louis. As Bone said, these games will be a good indication of where they're at.