Tale of the tape: WSU 71, OSU 68
FROM CORVALLIS — A physical, emotional game finally went the way of the Washington State Cougars, who won at Gill Coliseum today for the fourth consecutive time. We have our usual recap after the jump, so read on.
PLAYER OF THE GAME — Mike Ladd, Brock Motum and Royce Woolridge were each essential throughout certain portions of Saturday's win — Ladd in the first half, Motum in the second as WSU built a lead, and Woolridge in the final two minutes as the Cougars protected that lead. But Ladd's 23 points (17 in the first half) can't be ignored, nor can his efficiency — 10-of-11 from the field is, well, almost perfect. Take away those numbers, and the rest of the Cougars shot just 14-for-45. That's 31 percent.
PLAY OF THE GAME — Woolridge made a pretty tough runner (and got a fortuitous bounce) with 1:13 to go, a shot that put WSU ahead 68-64 and kept OSU at a 2-possession distance. His final two free throws were obviously huge, too, as they assured the Beavers couldn't win the game on their final possession.
STAT OF THE GAME — Rebounding figured to be one of the keys to this game, especially after WSU was burned so badly by offensive boards and second-chance points in its loss to Oregon. The Cougars cleaned that effort up pretty well, outrebounding OSU 39-27 thanks to 10 boards apiece from Motum and D.J. Shelton.
QUOTABLE — "This is huge. It’s our first road win, and we’ve been looking for poise down the stretch and this was the first time we really showed some poise so we’re looking forward to our next game. It’s all looking up from here, we feel." — sophomore guard Royce Woolridge
UP NEXT — WSU hosts Arizona State on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ASU hammered UCLA today, 78-60, and sits now at 16-4 and 5-2 in conference play.