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EUGENE – The Washington State men’s basketball team frustrated the Pac-12’s highest-scoring offense, rebounded well and held off comeback attempts on the road Sunday night. Unfortunately for WSU, the game didn’t end at halftime.
CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Washington State Cougars are improving, albeit slowly. After showing that they could compete with good teams against the Bay Area schools last week, the Cougars proved they could also compete on the road. But time is running out on WSU and there were still too many missed free throws, too many turnovers and far too many fouls throughout Thursday’s 68-57 loss at Oregon State.
COMING UP: Tonight at Oregon State, 6 (Pac-12 Wash.); Sunday at Oregon, 6 p.m. (Pac-12 Wash.) OUTLOOK: The Cougars are playing better basketball of late but have yet to translate that into wins. While the team came close against the Bay Area schools last week, they were unable to seal the deal against either team. The return of DaVonte Lacy has increased WSU’s scoring output in Pac-12 games from just over 49 points per game to 66. With criticism around the program ramping up, there will be increased scrutiny during the season’s last few weeks. The Cougars’ season has been disappointing but they can still salvage some progress with a few road wins.
PULLMAN – Washington State basketball coach Ken Bone has two years left on his contract but with the Cougars (9-16, 2-11 Pac-12) likely to miss the NCAA tournament for the sixth straight season, a coaching change could be in the works. Athletic director Bill Moos told The Spokesman-Review he has not made a decision on whether or not to terminate Bone’s contract. Bone’s contract insures that WSU is responsible for paying his $850,000 salary for the next two seasons whether or not he is retained.
PULLMAN – During the National Anthem prior to Washington State’s game against Stanford, WSU assistant coach Rod Jensen looked over at the Cougars opponent, turned to coach Ken Bone and observed, “Man, they are tall.” “Not only tall, look at their arms,” Bone replied.
During the National Anthem prior to Washington State’s game against Stanford, WSU assistant coach Rod Jensen looked over at the Cougars opponent, turned to coach Ken Bone and observed, “Man, they are tall.”
PULLMAN – DaVonte Lacy and Washington State tried to balance out a season’s worth of poor shooting against California, pouring in 3-pointers at a rate befitting a team that was first, not last, in shooting percentage among Pac-12 teams. But the Cougars’ abnormal long-range accuracy came against an opponent that was equally hot from outside and just a speck better on Wednesday night, beating WSU 80-76 in overtime.
PULLMAN – A win over California today would be an insignificant bullet point on Washington State’s NCAA tournament resume, which could not render a compelling candidacy through any amount of revising, rewriting or embellishing. The Cougars (9-14, 2-9 Pac-12) have long since passed consideration for “Cinderella” status and are closing in on Ugly Duckling territory.
A win over California today would be an insignificant bullet point on Washington State’s NCAA Tournament resume, which could not render a compelling candidacy through any amount of revising, rewriting or embellishing.
SALT LAKE CITY – The snow-capped hills encompassing Salt Lake City are dwarves compared to Mt. Rainier or any real mountain, although they similarly dominate the city’s skyline due to their close proximity, brushing up against houses on the outer edges of town. They probably looked like Everest from the bottom of the hole the Washington State basketball team dug in the first half of its 81-63 loss at Utah. Though the teams were required to play out both halves of the game, it appeared to be over in minutes, before many of the crowd of 11,634 managed to take their seats.
SALT LAKE CITY – In theory, the Washington State men’s basketball team should have a good chance to pick up its first Pac-12 road win today at Utah. The Cougars (9-13, 2-8) have already beaten the Utes (15-7, 4-6) once this season, a 49-46 victory in Pullman on Jan. 12. In that game the Cougars played without leading scorer DaVonte Lacy, who had a career-high 34 points in WSU’s 68-63 loss at Colorado on Wednesday.
In theory, the Washington State men’s basketball team should have a good chance to pick up its first Pac-12 road win today at Utah.