PULLMAN – The Washington State University men’s and women’s basketball teams put on a show for Cougars fans on Friday night in Bohler Gym. The fifth annual ZZUMania event was free for spectators, and involved a shooting exhibition by the women’s team, followed by a 3-point contest and dunk contest by the men’s team.
Women’s coach June Daughtery set the tone for the night early, guaranteeing that the team “will be in the postseason this year.”
Junior guard and Spokane-native Tia Presley echoed her coach’s sentiments, saying, “We’re not going to not back her up. We’re really excited, and making it to postseason is one of our goals. We plan on achieving it, and we’re going to do what it takes to get there.”
Presley and the rest of the team made 145 baskets over three minutes in a full-court shooting drill that involved layups, midrange jump shots and 3-pointers. Daugherty’s challenge to the team was to make 120 shots and they met that target with nearly a half minute to spare.
“Normally we’re pretty good,” Presley said. “That might have been a record for three minutes, I’m not sure.”
The men put on a shooting show of their own with the 3-point contest. Given 30 seconds to make as many triples as he could, Dexter Kernich-Drew went first and set the standard, hitting eight shots. Freshman Que Johnson and junior DaVonte Lacy each hit six to tie for second, a draw that had to be settled with a shoot-off.
Lacy won the tiebreaker, and the event, hitting eight 3-pointers in the final round against Kernich-Drew’s seven.
Kernich-Drew was also the runner-up in the dunk contest.
The 6-foot-7 guard from Australia earned perfect scores on his first two dunks, including a dunk over Butch the mascot that was the highlight of the night. But freshman Ike Iroegbu threw down some ferocious dunks of his own, including a windmill and an alley-oop from Lacy to make it to the final round.
“I tried to set the bar high for everyone else. That was my main goal from the start,” Iroegbu said.
“I was a little nervous but it all worked out.”
Iroegbu won the contest with a reverse when Kernich-Drew was unable to finish a difficult through-the-legs jam.
No one’s shot, however, could top that of sophomore Adam Donald. The WSU student was picked out of the crowd to take a half-court shot for $500 at the student bookstore. Donald was given three shots, but needed just one to bank in a basket.
Donaldson – who wants to be a teacher when he’s done at WSU – already knows what he wants to do with the cash.
“I’m definitely going to get one of those cool sweaters I can never afford,” he said.