The Washington Huskies took down the Washington State Cougars, 68-63, at Friel Court on Saturday night. The game looked to be a blowout early, but came down to the final minute.
The Huskies jumped out to a big lead in the first half, leading by as much as 17 at 21-4. The Cougar offense was finally able to get going eventually and the lead was cut to seven by halftime.
WSU made a run in the second half after falling back down by ten, eventually grabbing the lead for the first time at 51-50. The two teams traded punches down the stretch, as Aziz N'Diaye and Scott Suggs came up big for UW.
Will DiIorio knocked down two huge threes in the second half to keep the Cougars afloat. He finished with three from downtown on the night, after coming in with just one in his career. DiIorio played one of his best games ever on both ends, and had nine big points.
Washington was able to battle back and regain the lead after trailing 56-52, building a three-point advantage at 64-61 with under a minute to play. Mike Ladd would knock down two free throws on the ensuing possession to cut the lead to one. Ladd was a steady presence for WSU, scoring 16 points despite making just 4 of 12 shots.
The Cougars had a chance to tie the game on a DaVonte Lacy three attempt, but he missed. UW secured the rebound and was fouled with 8.8 seconds left. Gaddy missed the front end of a one-and-one, which the officials botched as they thought the sequence was two shots. WSU was fortunate enough to get the ball back on the alternating possession.
Ladd took the ball down the court, was fouled, and he missed the front end. Dexter Kernich-Drew had a chance at the rebound, but lost the ball out of bounds. It was a fitting end to a night when he was frequently abused on the defensive end.
Brock Motum's offensive struggles seemed to be the story of the night, but the senior still managed 15 points on 6 of 13 shooting. He most hurt the Cougars on the defensive end, where he was repeatedly beaten by N'Diaye on the offensive glass.