Apologies for not getting the graph up sooner, as I just survived a trip over Snoqualmie Pass and am now back in Pullman... and back on the blog. Although I must say Nuss did an excellent job running the show by himself.
This was a big game for a number of reasons. And just like Baylor, Pitt and Gonzaga the second half was the downfall for the Cougars. This loss hurts more because of how close we were - leading by seven points midway through the second half and getting as close as 53-52 before collapsing down the stretch.
In the big picture, WSU finishes non-conference play with only one BCS-conference win on the tournament resume. That's 8-4 Mississippi State, a team we should root for as they get set to take on the rest of the SEC, LSU included. This win could have given us some wiggle room. Instead, a WSU finish at around 9-9 in conference play means this could be the kind of loss that puts us on the outside looking in.
All the usual problems that we've been harping on remain - Rochestie took 16 shots (as many as Thompson and Baynes combined) and only had 2 assists. LSU made more free throws than the Cougs attempted, a recurring theme that I'll elaborate on later. And the Cougs had 5 team assists to 18 turnovers - about the exact opposite of what Bennett ball is supposed to aim for.
Still, the Cougs were in it for the majority of the game against a 10-1 LSU team that may be better than we think. There's some regrouping to do, and then it's back on the court for another huge test: at home versus the Huskies.
Let's hope the pass clears up for that one.