Why they missed 14 of their 20 free throws in the second half, I have no clue. But I do know this: That's a good free throw shooting team that, for whatever reason, had a bad day. And that bad day just shouldn't overshadow all the good things that happened in the game.
This is where it becomes necessary to separate process from results. The loss sucks, no doubt. But the Cougars have been putting together performances such as this with increasing frequency -- holding their own on the glass, getting to the free throw line with regularity. Beyond that, a hugely overlooked aspect of this game is that WSU held Washington to it's second-lowest offensive output of the season, just 0.87 points per possession.
In fact, if we play a little what if, we can see just how much is going right for these guys. What if the Cougars simply hit their 32 free throws attmepts at their season rate of 72 percent? They make six more free throws and score 61 points, ostensibly enough to win. If they hit their second half free throws at their normal rate, they score eight more points. Heck, how about if they just shoot their threes at their normal rate 36.5 percent instead of 11 percent, hitting four or five more, as they normally would? Blowout city.
I realize this kind of analysis sometimes rubs people the wrong way, because, you know, the Huskies could have played better, too, and the bottom line is that the team lost. But you do yourself a disservice if you don't recognize that all the ingredients were there for a win. It just didn't happen.
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