WSU survives against CSU Baskersfield

Ken Bone's face accurately sums up that performance - William Mancebo

I really didn't think I was going to have to use the word survive in a headline this early in the season.

It wasn't in the blowout fashion some may have expected, but the WSU men's basketball team opened its season 1-0 with a 62-56 win against CSU Baskersfield Friday night.

The Cougars led by 14 with 5:28 to play and appeared on their way to an easy win. Nothing was easy about the final five minutes, however. A 12-1 run cut WSU's lead to 55-52 with 2:51 to play. The Roadrunners trailed by just two points with 1:35 to play. Fortunately for WSU, CSU Bakersfield missed its final three shots and the Cougars were able to survive.

On the one hand, WSU was terrible in close games last year and if you believe in the Pete Carroll philosophy, winning close games is better for the season than winning blowouts. On the other hand, having to scratch out a close win against CSU Bakersfield doesn't exactly inspire confidence for the rest of the season. Sure, WSU could play better, but there appear to be some fundamental issues.

With the rule changes in college basketball, teams are going to shot a lot of free throws. WSU finished just 28-of-43 from the line and the team percentage was boosted considerably by DaVonte Lacy's 14-of-17 performance. With the offense the Cougars run, WSU is going to shoot a lot of three-point shots and the Cougars don't have very many consistent scorers from deep. WSU finished 4-of-23 from three-point range Friday, including a 2-of-12 performance from Lacy. WSU can and will shoot better, but are far from a consistent group from that range.

Seven assists to 16 turnovers is also a concern, but hey a win is a win, right?

Basketball:

CSUB comes up short in opener - BakersfieldCalifornian.com
Cal State Bakersfield came back from an 18-point second-half deficit, but ultimately fell short to Washington State in the season opener, 62-56, on Friday. Abdul Ahmed led the Roadrunners (0-1) with 12 points and six rebounds.

Cougar basketball comes through in close opener - Spokesman.com - Nov. 8, 2013
PULLMAN – The Washington State basketball team wasn’t as crisp or efficient as coach Ken Bone would have liked in its 62-56 season-opening win over Cal State Bakersfield.

Cougars Defeat Roadrunners in Season Opener - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
DaVonté Lacy had a career-high 28 points and led all scores as Washington State overcame a poor shooting night to beat Bakersfield 62-56 Friday night in the season opener.

Football:

First Football Game at Pullman, Nov. 9, 1895 - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
The Cougar football team is not in action this Saturday, Nov. 9, but on the same day in 1895, the team, not yet known as the Cougars (that wouldn't happen until 1919) played the program's first football game in Pullman.

WSU linebacker Su’a arrested - Spokesman.com - Nov. 9, 2013
Linebacker Chester Su’a of the Washington State football team has been arrested for failing to appear for a hearing regarding a charge of driving without a license.

Soccer:

The women's soccer team knocked off Washington on Friday and haven't lost to the Huskies since 2003. With the win, the Cougars finish the regular season in second place in the Pac-12. Their 14 regular season wins are also a school record.

Cougar Dominance Extends to a Decade - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
Rivalry matches often produce unexpected heroes. In Friday’s 1-0 victory, No. 22 Washington State freshman Kaitlyn Johnson filled the role against arch-rival Washington.

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