It may not have been perfect, but Washington State improved to 2-0 on the season with an 84-64 win against Lamar on Saturday.
WSU was up-and-down, looking dominant at times but again having long stagnant periods that allowed Lamar to hang around. The issues from deep continued with WSU making just 9-of-30 three-point attempts. The Cougars got off to a slow shooting start, which allowed Lamar to hang around for the first 10 minutes of the game. WSU then started attacking the rim, with Ike Iroegbu, Que Johnson, DaVonte Lacy and Royce Woolridge all making plays off the dribble. The increased attack helped the Cougars go on a 10-1 run and the Cougars led by 16 points at halftime.
They started to coast some in the second half and began settling for threes. That didn't go very well and the Cardinals slowly cut into the lead, pulling within four points. WSU started attacking again and the lead quickly grew back into double digits. That proved to be enough and the Cougars were finally able to put the game on cruise control.
There was a lot to like from WSU. The Cougars rebounded well and took care of the ball. While their three-point shots weren't falling with regularity, the Cougs shot well from inside the arc and at the free throw line. Lacy finished with a game-high 21 points and is now averaging 24.5 points per game.
Johnson looked much better in his second collegiate game, scoring eight points on 2-of-5 shooting. He missed both three-point attempts, but showed off some ball handling skills and was a perfect 4-of-4 at the free throw line. Iroegbu continues to flash potential, scoring 13 points on 4-of-6 shooting.
WSU's performance was a nice rebound from the sluggish effort in the season opener. Gonzaga is next up on the schedule for the Cougs.