Reggie Moore hit a game-winning jumper with 0.9 seconds left as the Washington State Cougars escaped with a win on the road over the Idaho Vandals Wednesday night. Moore led WSU in scoring after struggling in the first half. He finished with 15 points on 7-17 shooting. Not efficient, but he was 4-6 down the stretch and made many key plays with his ability to drive to the basket.
With Faisal Aden out for the second straight game, WSU was again able to limit the three-point shot. The Vandals made just 4-14 from three. The ones they made sounded like they were closely guarded, at least according to Bud Nameck on the radio broadcast.
WSU built a ten-point lead at halftime behind a stifling defense. Idaho was shooting just 31.0% at halftime. Their offense woke up in the second half as they made an effort to get the ball inside. Forward Djim Bandoumel was big for UI in the second half after not starting, hitting 4-6 field goals for nine points and helping the Vandals to come all the way back twice to tie the game.
Patrick Simon and Dexter Kernich-Drew have seen increased playing time with all the injuries and it paid dividends on the offensive end. The two sharpshooters combined to go 4-8 from three for 16 points. Kernich-Drew showed confidence that he seemed to lack just a few games ago, giving no hesitation and pulling up to bury a three with under three minutes left in the game. As Bud Nameck said, it was "huuuuuuuuge."
Brock Motum found one of his toughest match-ups on the front line against Idaho's Kyle Barone. Barone gave the Cougar bigs trouble early-on with his shot-blocking ability, but Motum fought back to finish 4-8 from the field for 12 points. Brock also hit Marcus Capers on the high-low for two straight dunks in the second half.
Wins on the road are nothing to be scoff at. Very few major-conference teams actually go on the road to take on lesser conference opponents. Kenpom predicted this game to be close, basically a toss-up. The Cougs should be be happy to come out of Cowan Spectrum with a victory.
WSU will return to Friel Court for their traditional pre-finals week Sunday game against Santa Clara. That game tips off at 1:00pm and will feature a live webcast on wsucougars.com.