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WSU Basketball vs. Santa Clara Recap: PHEW

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Say it with me: a win is a win.

In many aspects, this game probably should have resulted in a loss for WSU. Then again, most opponents don't go all ESPN Films (30 for 30) on their first 30 attempts from the free throw line.

Normally I don't pay attention to stats like that, but SCU was a 70% free throw shooting team coming in to tonight's game. Which means - had they been closer to the average - we could've seen the Cougs waltz away with a 6 or 7 point win. Even with all their difficulties on both ends of the floor.

The script was flipped in this game. Santa Clara had a penchant for fouling anything that moved (290th nationally in FTR defense coming in), and with the return of Reggie Moore the Cougars should've been the better team at attacking the basket and drawing fouls. Instead, it was the Broncos dominating WSU at the line. That dominance overshadowed SCU's poor shooting night from inside the arc. Sprinkle in a couple of WCC-style jacked-up three pointers, and... the Cougs were down by about ten with ten minutes to play.

Ultimately, the Cougars were just good enough to win this game. Which is all you have to be. Klay Thompson was a stone cold killer from the end of regulation through overtime. DeAngelo Casto made up for an occasionally lackadaisical performance by going hard to the rim in overtime -- to the tune of the Cougs' first five points in the extra period. The Cougs - knocked all year for their free throw shooting percentage (or lack thereof) calmly buried their attempts when the team needed them the most.

This looks like a bad win. And, in some ways, it was. Our D struggled to end possessions against a turnover-prone offense, and our offense couldn't hit much outside the big half-circle. Rebounding was suspect at times, yet again.

But this was a win. And all wins are good. Especially wins on the road, against a team from a quality mid-major conference just days after the Cougs had to shift their attention away from Final Exams.

A win is a win.