Sat., March 9, 2013
Tale of the tape: WSU 76, USC 51
FROM PULLMAN -- Washington State has now won consecutive games for the first time since December, and it couldn't have come at a better time. WSU's 76-51 win over USC is recapped after the jump. Read on.
PLAYER OF THE GAME -- Little doubt about this one. Brock Motum was as dominant as he's ever been in his 4-year career, scoring a season-best 31 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in his final game at Beasley Coliseum. He shot 11-of-22 from the field, made all six of his free-throw attempts and did not commit a turnover. And he did it with his family and a few friends from Australia in the crowd. Royce Woolridge also deserves mention for his 25-point performance, which included three quick 3-pointers down the stretch that helped put the game away.
PLAY OF THE GAME -- It wasn't one play, but an 8-0 WSU run that really decided this one. USC had cut the lead to five points in the second half, and WSU extended it to nine shortly after. But a basket by Motum and two 3s by Woolridge gave the Cougars the separation they needed to just ice this one away.
QUOTABLE -- "We knew we had some wins coming. After all those close games we had, we told ourselves we were going to keep pushing and keep working hard and it’s finally paying off." -- senior guard Mike Ladd, who returned from a knee injury to play for the first time since Feb. 9.
STAT OF THE GAME -- It helped WSU that USC made only 33.9 percent of its field goal attempts. And the Cougars also excelled at a bunch of little things that were within their control. They crashed the glass aggressively again, outrebounding the Trojans 45-34, including a 15-9 edge on the offensive end. And WSU committed just five turnovers, its second-lowest total this season. It's also noteworthy that WSU hasn't swept the Los Angeles schools at home since the 1992-93 season.
UP NEXT -- WSU heads to Las Vegas on Monday, and will play against Washington at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament. The Huskies lost earlier today, 61-54, to UCLA.
Christian Caple can be reached at email@example.com. Twitter: @ChristianCaple