November 6, 2011 in Sports

Cougs blitz LCSC despite three absent basketball players

By The Spokesman-Review

PULLMAN – The small crowd that gathered Saturday night at Beasley Coliseum had plenty of time to get acquainted with all the newcomers on the Washington State men’s basketball team.

Three of the Cougars’ familiar faces, though, didn’t make it off the bench.

Fresh-faced WSU, without point guard Reggie Moore and two other key returners, blitzed nearby Lewis-Clark State College 88-41 in its lone exhibition game of the preseason.

The romp amounted to the Cougs’ final tuneup before opening at rival Gonzaga on Nov. 14. A week ago they scrimmaged with Montana in Post Falls, during which Moore hurt his groin and Faisal Aden sustained a concussion.

But apparently the most serious health issue cropped up Thursday in practice, when Abe Lodwick went down with a left foot injury. The 6-foot-7 redshirt senior, who started 32 games last year, was in a boot Saturday night.

Bone is awaiting results of a CT scan to determine how much time Lodwick will miss. The third-year coach was also unsure if Moore or Aden would be able to go against the Zags.

“Those other guys have been out almost week,” Bone said, “and there was no way either of them was going to be able to play (Saturday night). So (we’ll) wait and see.”

Freshman guard DaVonte Lacy filled in nicely for Moore at point guard. He had a game-high 21 points, while transfer Mike Ladd had 14 points. The starting backcourt tandem combined for seven 3-pointers.

“I thought they did pretty well, especially DaVonte,” Ladd said of WSU’s young players. “He was attacking pretty well. With Reg out, he did pretty well running point.”

WSU held Lewis-Clark State without a point for nearly 10 minutes in the first half. The Cougs raced to a 25-8 lead before LCSC ended its scoring drought.

The Warriors were much more competitive Thursday night in a 64-52 loss at Montana. They crept within nine points of the Griz inside the final 3 minutes.

Yet against WSU, LCSC could only manufacture sporadic offense.

Lacy was encouraged with the team’s defensive effort. But he pinpointed a few weaknesses in his own performance.

“I don’t really want to take away nothing offensively (from the game), because that doesn’t win championships and that’s not what we want,” the Tacoma product said. “I need to move my feet faster and just slide the gaps.”

The Cougars have just more than a week to prepare for Gonzaga.

“They’re too good to feel prepared for at this moment,” he said. “We will go in there and do the best we can, but we know what we’re up against. And you need more than just a scrimmage and game against Lewis-Clark State to prepare for Gonzaga.”

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