Pittsburgh's Lamar Patterson missed a potential game winning shot as time expired and Washington State held on for a 67-66 win in game one of the CBI championship series.
Playing without Brock Motum, the Cougars used a well balanced scoring attack to take a 1-0 lead in the best of three series. Abe Lodwick continued his stellar play in the CBI, leading WSU with 16 points. Reggie Moore chipped in 14 points including what turned out to be the winning basket.
Defense appeared to be optional for much of the game as both the Cougars and Panthers scored with ease. Pittsburgh led 38-35 at halftime, but WSU came out strong in the second half, eventually building a 12 point lead. They were up 12 with just over seven minutes to play when Pittsburgh began to make a comeback. Thanks in large part to an offensive drought by the Cougars and some ill-advised shooting fouls, the Panthers cut the lead to two with one minute to play.
Pittsburgh had a chance to tie the game with four seconds remaining, but Talib Zanna missed the second of two free throws leaving WSU with a one point advantage. Lodwick missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw opportunity leaving Pittsburgh 3.5 seconds to attempt a game winning shot. Tray Woodall took an inbound pass into the paint but his layup was rejected out of bounds by D.J. Shelton with 0.8 seconds to play. That's when Patterson got one final chance for the win, but his 3-point attempt came up just a fraction short.
The Cougars had to sweat it out until the final horn, but were able to do just enough over the final seven minutes to eek out a win. WSU will now go on the road needing to win one of two games in Pittsburgh if they want to claim the CBI championship. Motum did not dress for the game, but did not appear to be wearing a protective boot. Needless to say, but his return would be a major boost for the Cougars.
Game two of the series is scheduled for Wednesday with the tip set for 4:00 p.m.