That's about as ugly as a 19 point win can look. But we'll take it and move on, as just a couple of games ago the Cougars squandered a double-digit lead against EWU, and let the game go down to the wire.
This time, the Cougars let the Seawolves go on a run in the second half to bring the WSU lead down to single digits. However, Klay Thompson and co. finished strong, putting away a closer-than-expected game against the host of the Great Alaska Shootout.
A win is a win, and you can't take that for granted in the Pac-10 this season. Still, the Cougars allowed 27 points by Brandon Walker and 40% shooting from beyond the 3 point arc by the Seawolves. And even though UAA never seriously threatened, the Cougs had to keep their first-team rotation out on the floor for about 38 minutes of the game. The usual deficiencies were there: rebounding, perimeter defense and lack of a consistent scoring threat outside of Klay Thompson and Reggie Moore.
Speaking of which...
Player of the Game: Klay Thompson. I'll keep giving this award to Klay until someone takes it away from him. Tonight: 25 points on 9/18 shooting (3/5 from 3), leading all Coug scorers.
Unsung Hero: Reggie Moore. 17 points on 5 of 10 shooting, and an excellent job of keeping the Cougars on the free throw line. Once on the charity stripe, Reggie hit 7 of 8.
Play of the Game: A few solid contenders, but I'm going with the Klay-to-Capers fast break dunk in the first half.
It was over when... Klay Thompson swung the ball low, then rose up for a three early in the shot clock, late in the second half. I forget the exact score and time, but it sealed the deal against the feisty 'Wolves.
Stat of the Game: For all my complaining in the gamethread, this was actually a good shooting night for the Cougs, who shot 50.9% from the field. Perhaps we just got so caught up in the idea of running over a lower division opponent that we forgot to respect the chance that the lower division opponent may be better than we think. The usual issues are there - we know that - and they need to be remedied soon. But, for now, we can enjoy the fact that we can get a double-digit win despite the lack of depth in our frontcourt and inconsistent play by guards not named Thompson or Moore.
In fact, maybe us fans were a little too cocky going in, myself included. Vegas only had the Cougs as 10-point favorites going in, according to statsheet.com.