Washington State defeated Western Oregon in front of a mostly empty Beasley Coliseum Sunday night. The Wolves were able to hang with the Cougars for the first half, pulling within three at intermission. WSU was able to pull away in the second half as they forced the Wolves into tough shots and turnovers.
No Coug ended in double figures. Marcus Capers led the team with 9 points on 4-4 shooting. It was the first time in his career as the team's scoring leader. Charlie Enquist was perfect in again, going 3-3 from the field and 2-2 from the line for 8 points to go along with 6 rebounds. Enquist and Motum didn't get nearly as many opportunities as they have in games past. One guess as to the major factor there.
Faisal Aden made a return to the lineup for the first time since the game against Grambling State, and it seems that nothing has changed. Ken Bone said earlier in the week that the injured players would have to buy into "team-first" principles if they were going to get their playing time back. Aden took 32% of the shots while he was on the floor and used 32% of the possessions. He scored just 7 points on 11 possessions used. He was the first guy off the bench and played the second-most minutes. Leaves Cougar fans to wonder if Bone actually meant what he said.
Davonte Lacy seems to be getting more-and-more three-happy as the season goes on. He is shooting more than twice as many threes as two-point shots, and only one of his field goal attempts tonight came from inside the arc. Go to the basket, young man.
On defense, WSU was able to shut down Western Oregon's Blair Wheadon. The Wolves' offense runs through Wheadon and they couldn't get much going without him, putting up just 0.73 points per possession.
In the postgame interview with Bud Nameck, Capers apologized to the fans for their poor performance to start the game, citing finals week as a distraction. Ken Bone agreed. After just going through a finals week of my own where sleep wasn't much of an option, and not having to spend three hours a day playing basketball, I can empathize there.
As the team goes forward it will be interesting to see if team-first is truly the goal. The next game comes on Thursday in Seattle against Pepperdine for the Cougar Hardwood Classic. There is no television or webcast scheduled for that game.