Cougars ice-cold in loss at Oregon
EUGENE, Ore. – After last Sunday night’s win over then-18th-ranked Washington, some Washington State Cougars talked of running the table in the second half of the Pac-10 basketball season.
That thought lasted about 4 minutes – and four missed shots – Thursday night in Oregon’s new Matthew Knight Arena.
As the Cougars misses mounted, the Ducks, a team that competed but still lost by 14 in Pullman four weeks ago, pulled away and routed WSU 69-43 before 10,017.
A hangover from the 87-80 win over the Huskies, who also lost Thursday up the road in Corvallis?
“I don’t know,” WSU coach Ken Bone said. “Could be.”
But Bone was certain of one thing.
“I know this,” he said. “I don’t think I had our guys ready to go from the beginning. There is no excuse to come out and play as lethargic as we did. We were not good on either end of the floor.”
The Ducks, who came in last in the Pac-10 in shooting percentage, shot a misleading 42.9 from the floor.
Misleading because they missed nine of their last 10 shots after building a 29-point lead with 9:45 left. Up to that point they had hit half of their 46 shots.
They also were successful on nine 3-pointers – including the sixth and seventh of the year by 6-foot-6 post Joevan Catron, who hardly played in Pullman because of an injury – and pulled down 10 offensive rebounds.
WSU was struggling so mightily, Bone pulled them out of the zone they played so well against UW.
“We were losing guys in the zone, and they were scoring at a high rate,” Bone said.
“They played with a lot of confidence and a lot of that was due to our lack of defense early in the game,” said Abe Lodwick. “It’s easy to get your confidence up when all your shots are going in, and your getting the rebounds on the ones that don’t go in.
“They just built off it.”
Catron built a productive night for the Ducks (11-11, 4-6 Pac-10 after winning three of their last four) with 17 points, nine rebounds and three assists, while guard Jay-R Strowbridge came off the bench and chipped in 15 points.
But 69 points isn’t an impressive offensive performance – unless it’s compared to WSU’s season-low 43.
WSU, which fell to 15-7, 5-5, hit five of its first 13 shots, the last of those a two-hand flush by Klay Thompson after a steal with 11:54 before halftime. The slam hushed the crowd and cut Oregon’s lead to 17-12.
But when WSU left Oregon’s tie-dyed-looking, fir-designed floor for halftime, it had made one more shot.
The Ducks, who put together a 10-0 run after Thompson’s dunk, led 33-23 going into intermission.
The 6-for-28 first-half shooting was the Cougars’ worst of the season.
And then it got really bad.
Coming out of halftime, the Cougars turned the ball over on their first two possessions, missed six of their first seven shots and watched as the Ducks outscored them 18-2 in the first 7 minutes.
Running the table was off.
Thompson was 4 of 13, 2 of 8 from 3 for a team-high 12 points. Reggie Moore was 2 of 8, Faisal Aden 2 of 10, DeAngelo Casto 1 of 5, Marcus Capers 3 of 7 and Patrick Simon missed his five shots.
The 25.9 percent WSU shot – the Cougars came in third in the Pac-10, shooting 47.7 percent – was not only a season low, it was a season low by more than 10 percentage points.
Their 4-of-25 from beyond the arc – 16 percent – was also a low-water mark.
“We didn’t shoot the ball well tonight at all,” Bone said.
“We had some decent looks, but they did a good job defensively.”