James Snook-US PRESSWIRE
The Cougars led most of the way, but struggled on offense and gave up a late lead to lose the game on the road.
The Washington State Cougars suffered their first loss of the season, 58-56, in overtime to the Pepperdine Waves on Friday night. This was a classic trap game, but it looked like the Cougs would at least avoid the loss. They didn't.
The Cougars led most of the game, but could never create separation. Their biggest lead was nine on a couple occasions in the first half, but an error would always come when the chance was there to step on the Waves' throat and put the game out of reach.
Probably the most glaring of those errors was a four-on-one break WSU had late in the second half. The Cougs were up eight, and had a chance to go up double-digits for the first time. The pass went to D.J. Shelton on the break. He went up for the layup, but was called for a charge.
It wasn't a charge, but Shelton probably never should have been the one to get the ball in the first place.
Pepperdine would respond from that point. Back-to-back threes brought them within two points with less than two minutes to play. The Waves even had a clean look at a go-ahead three, but couldn't bury it. WSU responded with their second-straight terrible possession, getting a shot-clock violation off a timeout. Pepperdine would then miss another open three to take the lead.
Brock Motum was off all night. He missed a number of layups. Made his typical awful passes, and was lost in the middle of the zone on the possessions that the Cougs chose to employ that tactic. He finished with 15 points on just 4 of 13 shooting, well off his usual efficiency. Motum was hurt at some point, as he went to the locker room for an extended period of time in the second half.
He also set up the Waves for the game-tying score with a bone-headed flop on a three-point attempt. The ball was turned over, setting up an easy break.
Royce Woolrdige knocked down some big jumpers, and finished with 11 points, but also had five turnovers. Mike Ladd was a bright spot at times, grabbing 13 rebounds and dropping 10 points.
Of course, Ladd then missed two crucial free throws with 26 seconds left in overtime. That left the Cougs up just one point at 56-55.
Lorne Jackson would score the game-winning basket with 12 seconds left, as the Cougs turned the ball over on their final possession, it was their 20th of the game.
The injury clearly affected Motum, and WSU was awful on offense down the stretch. If he doesn't feel any better by Monday, the Cougs will certainly be in for a beatdown against Kansas.