February 22, 2014 in Sports

Cougars aim to shoot down Ducks

By The Spokesman-Review
 
The Spokesman-Review photo


(Full-size photo)

COMING UP
Sunday:
Washington State Cougars at Oregon Ducks, 6 p.m.
TV: Pac-12 Wash.

Points haven’t come easy for the Washington State basketball team this season, which is last in the Pac-12 in scoring at 62.6 points per game. Today against Oregon they’ll face a foe that has struggled in conference play except when it comes to putting points on the board.

The Ducks (17-8, 5-8 Pac-12) are the conference scoring leaders, averaging 83.5 points per game. Though UO has disappointed since entering conference play ranked No. 10 in the country, they still have something to play for.

Dana Altman’s club has won its last two games and is among ESPN pundit Joe Lunardi’s “Next Four Out” in his NCAA tournament projections. Prior to its recent wins over Oregon State and Washington the Ducks lost to Arizona and Arizona State by just four points combined.

If UO is to sneak its way into the NCAA tournament then beating the Cougars will be a must. Despite a terrible start to Pac-12 play the Ducks can still finish 10-8 in conference by winning out. But with games at No. 23 UCLA and at home against No. 4 Arizona looming, the Ducks likely need to win today just to finish 8-8.

WSU, on the other hand, is hoping to end its current five-game losing streak. The Cougars (9-17, 2-12 Pac-12) have won just one of their past 10 games. After the team’s loss at Oregon State on Thursday coach Ken Bone said that getting that elusive first win in awhile would be a remedy for many of WSU’s problems.

During that game WSU’s leading scorer, DaVonte Lacy, and leading rebounder, D.J. Shelton both suffered minor leg injuries in the first half. But both players finished the game and are expected to play today.


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