Washington State defeats Washington 72-67

Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

OUR STATE

Nusser and Powers are otherwise detained...

...so you get the substitute teacher this afternoon.  Prepare for several filmstrips and at least an hour of Heads-Up-Seven-Up.

While the majority of Coug Nation is prepping for tomorrow's Super Bowl, the men's basketball team provided a hell of a pregame show today, beating the Huskies 72-67 in Pullman.

The first half broke the way of the Cougs despite being behind at halftime.  WSU was getting plenty of second chances and Shelton's 11 first half points kept them close despite DaVonte Lacy being out of rhythm.   Lacy, playing in his first meaningful minutes during the conference season, missed all six of his shots in the first half.  The Huskies were able to get a 20 points in the paint throughout the first half on a series of dunks, due to Perris Blackwell and Shawn Kemp, Jr. getting some easy seals.

The Huskies were able to open up the second half dictating the style, getting points in transition and forcing the Cougs into early ill-advised shots, resulting in a 7-0 run.  C.J. Wilcox made back-to-back three's from the same spot and it began to look grim.

Ike Iroegbu and Dexter Kernich-Drew came in and provided a spark to counter UW's run.  Ike was able to get into the paint for a couple of easy layups and Dexter hit a three and then three plays later, faked that same three to get Nigel Goss-Williams in the air, providing a lane for an easy layup.

Davonte Lacy and Que Johnson were able to find their respective strokes and the Cougs were able to go on a 22-3 run, forcing Washington scoreless for a stretch of over five minutes.   Wazzu was able to get on this run due to D.J. Shelton and Junior Longrus bringing down every rebound imaginable and a savvy halftime adjustment by Ken Bone, leaving guards to overplay any entry pass to the post and forcing several turnovers.

Also, this happened:

WSU built up an eleven point lead by the three minute mark and UW started fouling.  And the game lasted what felt like another two hours.  It proved to be an effective strategy, as the Cougs failed to capitalize on the free throws given to them.

The Huskies made things interesting over the final couple minutes with some layups and WSU going 2-6 from the free throw line over a three-possession stretch, but an Andrew Andrews unforced stumble led to him losing the ball out of bounds as he crossed midcourt at the 22 second mark and UW realistically ran out of possessions.

Wilcox led all scorers with 24 points, on 9-14 shooting, including four three-pointers.  Shelton led Washington State with 20 points and EIGHTEEN REBOUNDS.

This may have been the best WSU possession of the last three years.  I wish I could've captured more than six seconds of it.

WSU improves to 2-7 in conference and 9-12 overall.   WSU will attempt to avenge their overtime loss to Colorado in a rematch on Wednesday night.  Hopefully they're flying Southwest because a carry-on will not be able to hold Vonte's giant balls.

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