Washington State defeated Eastern Washington 75-49 Saturday night. The Cougars controlled the game on the defensive end, limiting the usually hot-shooting Eagles to just 4-23 (17.4%) from beyond the arc. Overall, the Eagles were held to just 0.72 points per possession, easily their worst offensive performance of the season.
In my game preview, I suggested that WSU could dominate the inside. They most certainly did. Former walk-on Charlie Enquist (Charlieball) had the best game of his career. He scored 20 points, pulled down 13 rebounds (seven offensive) and hit seven of his eight field goal attempts. Great to see for a guy that has seen limited time in previous seasons and is getting the chance to play extended minutes.
Reggie Moore had a Jekyll and Hyde game. At times, he was in control, taking the ball to the basket and either drawing a foul or setting up a teammate. He was efficient with his shot, knocking down 6-9 for 15 points. Unfortunately, he also turned the ball over nine times. We finally saw the aggressiveness we wanted from Moore, but there was a lot of bad that came with it. He still has a long way to go to be the guy that WSU needs him to be to compete in conference play (well, against the better conference teams, there is a lot of crap out there right now).
Motum also chipped in on the turnover game, posting six himself. With Reggie and Motum playing the biggest part, the team turned the ball over on 30.9% of their possessions. Luckily they were able to shoot really well and still posted 1.10 points per possession.
This game was played without Faisal Aden. The team looked better in perimeter defense than they have all season, against a team who shoots a high volume of threes. Make your own inferences there.
Getting extended minutes with Aden out, Dexter Kernich-Drew posted his first double-figure scoring game as a Coug. He started with a four-point play in the first half, and finished it off with another three and a two-handed slam. If he can knock down open jumpers, he will quickly endear himself to Ken Bone and see some more time on the floor.
WSU also dominated the free throw battle, posting a 65.3 FTR. They were able to shoot the ball well from the line, knocking down 23-30. Freshman DaVonte Lacy was perfect on free throws, accounting for all eight of his points.
This game is very encouraging, as the Cougs were able to easily a team that had been playing well. Kenpom predicted this to be a six-point game, and WSU ends up cruising through the second half to a 26-point win.
WSU's next game game comes against another neighbor, the Idaho Vandals. That game will be played on Wednesday at 7 pm. The Cougar basketball team is now 2-0 since the hiring of Mike Leach. Just sayin'.