March 7, 2014 in Sports

Washington State drops to last in Pac-12 with loss to USC

By The Spokesman-Review
 
Associated Press photo

USC’s Byron Wesley, left, and Omar Oraby grab rebound while Cougs watch.
(Full-size photo)

PULLMAN – Playing against the only Pac-12 team Washington State could reasonably have claimed was in worse shape, the Cougars couldn’t even keep it close at home.

WSU hit rock bottom as USC won the basement battle, 79-68.

With only a solid UCLA team remaining on the regular season schedule, WSU (9-20, 2-15 Pac-12) is all but assured of finishing last in the Pac-12. A win on Thursday would’ve put USC in the conference’s cellar.

The two teams entered the game with competitive cases to be the conference’s worst team. The two rank last in scoring offense, scoring margin and field goal percentage. The Cougars have said that their eight-game losing streak has become an opponent in and of itself, and that getting that first win will make subsequent wins easier.

And USC was undoubtedly their best chance to get that win.

“Oh no doubt, no doubt this was a great opportunity and at times we played good basketball, but not good enough to get the job done,” coach Ken Bone said.

USC led by as much as 17 before the Cougars closed late.

Despite an announced crowd of just 2,113, the home court advantage seemed like it would be enough to carry the Cougars to a third Pac-12 win.

After last week’s woeful outside shooting at Washington, where the Cougars made just 4 of 23 3-pointers, they hit 6 of 17 from behind the arc in the first half.

But the Cougars were quickly bereft of whatever injection of offense they were benefitting from. After Byron Weslely broke USC’s drought with a free throw, the Cougars were outscored 44-24 the rest of the way.

“I feel like talent and depth we definitely matched up with them,” Royce Woolridge said. “But just turnovers, which led to their transition points, hurt us. I don’t think it was necessarily them being better than us.”

Wesley finished with 31 points and the Trojans, who are the worse outside shooters in the Pac-12 and shoot 29 percent from beyond the arc, made four of nine 3-point attempts in the second half.

“They were hitting 3-pointers, which they don’t usually do,” Dexter Kernich-Drew said. “We tried to follow the scouting report. They were hitting 3-pointers, I don’t know what else to say.

“I guess we’re still learning but it’s a little bit too late, added Kernich-Drew. “Hopefully we can get this next win and then do something in the (Pac-12) tournament.”

Southern Cal 79, Washington St. 68

USCFGFTReb
(11-19, 2-15)MM-AM-AO-TAPFPTS
Jvanvic211-30-01-3122
Oraby174-40-01-5048
Howard172-63-31-2118
Terrell303-100-00-5018
Wesley3810-179-131-103231
Prince30-00-00-0000
Dukes41-32-20-2005
Jacobs312-43-40-7927
Gvrilvic161-30-00-0032
Munoz00-00-00-0000
Haley234-50-11-4018
Totals28-5517-235-40141679

Percentages: FG .509, FT .739. 3-Point Goals: 6-19, .316 (Wesley 2-4, Terrell 2-7, Dukes 1-2, Howard 1-4, Gavrilovic 0-2). Team Rebounds: 2. Blocked Shots: 4 (Haley 2, Oraby 2). Turnovers: 10 (Wesley 3, Jacobs 2, Jovanovic, Prince, Terrell, Gavrilovic). Steals: 6 (Howard 2, Jacobs 2, Wesley 2). Technical Fouls: None.

WSUFGFTReb
(9-20, 2-15)MM-AM-AO-TAPFPTS
Shelton325-121-32-114211
Railey221-10-20-2012
KrnchDrw243-60-00-1138
Wolrdge264-72-30-02312
Lacy375-197-81-103420
Iroegbu150-50-01-3120
DiIorio10-00-00-0010
Longrus201-20-01-3112
Johnson204-112-21-20013
Boese30-00-01-1000
Totals23-6312-188-34121768

Percentages: FG .365, FT .667. 3-Point Goals: 10-35, .286 (Johnson 3-8, Lacy 3-14, Kernich-Drew 2-3, Woolridge 2-4, Iroegbu 0-2, Shelton 0-4). Team Rebounds: 1. Blocked Shots: 2 (Railey, Shelton). Turnovers: 7 (Shelton, Railey, Woolridge, Iroegbu, Boese, Longrus, DiIorio). Steals: 4 (Railey, Iroegbu, Lacy, Kernich-Drew). Technical Fouls: None.

Halftime—Washington St. 36-35. A—2,113.


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