USA TODAY Sports
The Cougars were without one of their best players, and they fell short in Pullman for a fifth-straight loss.
DaVonte Lacy poured in a career-high 27 points for the Washington State Cougars, but it wasn't enough to ovecome the absence of Mike Ladd as Oregon State escaped with a 67-66 win on Wednesday night. WSU made a late rally with a flurry of three-pointers to make the game interesting, but it ultimately came up short.
Washington State put up 28 three-pointers on a total of 47 field goal attempts, as it was unable to get inside. It turned out to be a blessing, as the Cougs hit 14 of their 28 attempts from beyond the arc to somewhat mitigate a nearly complete lack of offensive rebounding.
Oregon State was able to build a big lead midway through the second on a string of turnovers by the Cougs. The Beavers switched into a 1-3-1 trap and it completely befuddled WSU, and the resulting defecit proved to too much.
The Cougars got as close as one point with just over a minute left when D.J. Shelton hit a second-straight three-pointer to bring the score to 64-63. WSU was unable to secure an offensive rebound, and Roberto Nelson was able to get a putback to put Oregon State up by three.
The ensuing possession saw a flurry of OSU fouls, as they had three to give. It ended with a wild Shelton three attempt. The Beavers would split a pair of free throws before Lacy hit a meaningless three to cap a career night.
This game was lost on the defensive end. The Cougs came in as the worst defensive team in Pac-12 play on a per-possession basis, and they continued to struggle. Oregon State's 67 points came on just 59 possessions, The Beavers weren't spectacular on the offensive glass, but with WSU doing nothing on their end, the extra chances Oregon State did get were huge.
It's hard for a team to lose a game when they post a 62 effective field goal percentage and don't miss a free throw, but the Cougars found a way tonight. But hey, at least they didn't fade down the stretch, right?