Tale of the tape: Texas A&M 55, WSU 54

COUGARS

FROM KANSAS CITY — Washington State will be pleased to bid the Sprint Center adieu. It has not been kind to them. Neither have Kansas or Texas A&M. We have our capsulated look at WSU's 55-54 loss to the Aggies on Tuesday. Read on.


PLAYER OF THE GAME — It probably should go to the guy who hit the game-winning shot, Elston Turner, but he really didn't play very well, shooting just 2-13 from the field. But one of those two was pretty darn important. Dexter Kernich-Drew looked like the kind of player WSU fans have been hoping he could be. He shot the ball well and with confidence, leading all scorers with 16 points. Kernich-Drew was already going to have to step into a bigger role for the Cougars to have any kind of success this season, but he might have to do even more now, depending on the severity of DaVonte Lacy's knee injury.

PLAY OF THE GAME — Obviously, Turner's 3-pointer with two seconds remaining. Ken Bone said the Cougars played it right, switching every screen as they were supposed to. Texas A&M point guard J'Mychal Reese dribbled to the right side of the court and handed off to Turner, who was coming the other way. That handoff prompted Mike Ladd to switch off of Turner. Kernich-Drew was on Turner briefly, but Ray Turner got in the way, causing Shelton to pick up Elston Turner as he dribbled to the top of the key. With Elston Turner standing a ways behind the 3-point line, Shelton gave him a little bit of room. Too much, as it turned out.

KEY STAT — Bone pointed this out afterward, but it was obvious as it was happening, too — A&M's offensive rebounding ability kept WSU from pulling away at all. The Aggies outrebounded WU 35-23, and also had a 16-4 advantage on the offensive glass and scored 12 second-chance points. Twelve is a lot when you only score 55 total.

QUOTABLE — “We did a great job before Turner hit the shot. We planned on switching everything and fortunately had a 6-9, 6-10 kid on him and he hit a 25-footer. That’s all I saw. There was no play involved, nothing else. He just dribbled around out there and he’s a great shooter and he’d made one shot at that point and hits a three.” — coach Ken Bone, on Turner's game-winner

UP NEXT — WSU hosts Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. That game will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.

Christian Caple can be reached at christianc@spokesman.com. Twitter: @ChristianCaple

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