ANAHEIM, Calif. – Washington State’s early success evaporated in a second-half collapse that broke a two-game winning streak Thursday night in the 76 Classic.
Oklahoma dominated the Cougars in the second half and rallied for a 74-59 victory at the Anaheim Convention Center.
WSU (2-2) will face New Mexico at 6:30 tonight after committing a season-worst 22 turnovers for the game and shooting just 22.2 percent in the second half. The Sooners (3-0) used those turnovers to score 22 points.
Brock Motum led the Cougars with 13 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Faisal Aden added 12 points.
“Oklahoma really had their way with us in that second half,” WSU coach Ken Bone said. “They were relentless. They kept their intensity up, played with a lot of energy and took us out of the game.”
In the first half, WSU rallied to build a lead, lost it, then regained it at halftime on a dramatic shot.
The Cougars used a 13-2 surge to turn a 10-7 deficit into a 20-12 advantage with 12:24 left in the first half. WSU’s defense forced four turnovers and kept Oklahoma from scoring a basket for six minutes.
But Calvin Newell scored eight points and Cameron Clark added seven during a 17-8 spree that put the Sooners ahead, 29-28, with 4:47 before halftime.
However, Marcus Capers converted a 3-point shot from 60 feet as time expired, and WSU had a 40-38 halftime lead.
When the Cougars held a 48-47 advantage in the second half, Oklahoma took command. Newell scored 10 points in less than five minutes as the Sooners moved ahead, 60-50.
Meanwhile, WSU scored two points in a span of 7:08.
Capers’ follow shot narrowed the deficit to 60-52 with 6:50 to play but the Cougars made only four points on free throws during the next five minutes, as Oklahoma extended the margin to 71-56 with 2:09 to play.
“We put our tail between our legs when things didn’t go well for us, which surprised me,” Bone said. “We need to bounce back from certain possessions and still be able to compete.”
Newell finished with 18 points, one fewer than his career high. Steven Pledger added 14 points and three steals, Clark had 14 points and Sam Grooms passed for 10 assists.
• New Mexico lost to Santa Clara 79-76 in overtime on Thursday. Niyi Harrison hit two go-ahead free throws with 1:59 left for the Broncos.
Percentages: FG .450, FT .611. 3-Point Goals: 9-20, .450 (Newell Jr. 4-8, Pledger 3-6, Grooms 1-1, Osby 1-2, Clark 0-1, Blair 0-1, Neal 0-1). Team Rebounds: 4. Blocked Shots: 3 (Fitzgerald, Arent, Neal). Turnovers: 11 (Blair 3, Fitzgerald 2, Clark 2, Arent 2, Grooms, Pledger). Steals: 7 (Pledger 3, Newell Jr. 2, Grooms, Clark).
Percentages: FG .423, FT .727. 3-Point Goals: 7-17, .412 (Aden 2-3, Capers 1-1, Ladd 1-2, Motum 1-3, Simon 1-3, Lacy 1-5). Team Rebounds: 5. Blocked Shots: 3 (Capers, Shelton, Motum). Turnovers: 22 (Moore 6, Aden 5, Motum 4, Ladd 2, Shelton 2, Capers, Lacy, Enquist). Steals: 5 (Capers, Moore, Lacy, Aden, Motum).
Halftime—Washington St. 40-38. A—N/A