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WSU basketball debuts to mixed results, soccer suffers heartbreaking loss

On the plus side, the women's basketball team defeated a ranked team. On the other side, the men lost, and the Soccer team's season ended.

WSU Athletics

It was a busy Friday for WSU Athletics, even though the football team is off this weekend. Both basketball teams opened the season and the soccer team opened the NCAA Tournament with a home game against the Seattle University Chieftains Redhawks. The results were mixed, with one basketball victory and one loss, but clearly the most impactful result was the soccer team going down to defeat, bringing another good season to an end.


Despite the fact that WSU had defeated Seattle 10 straight times coming into the Friday tournament matchup, the Redhawks seemed to seize the initiative from the outset, taking a 1-0 lead in the first half. Things seemed pretty bleak for WSU, but they bagged the equalizer late in the second half and it was a new game. The Cougs had a few chances to win the game with a golden goal in overtime, including a semi-breakaway which looked to be their best shot, but they just couldn't capitalize.

The result was a gut punch loss for the fourth consecutive year, bringing another impressive soccer season to an end. As Jeff noted in his piece Friday, this senior class has been through a lot. They've had three different coaches in four years. They've suffered four consecutive heartbreaking ends to their season, either in overtime or in a shootout. Unfortunately, they were never able to get over that hump, but that doesn't take anything away from the fact that WSU soccer has become the most consistently successful program in WSU Athletics. Hopefully they can keep it going.

Cougars ousted from NCAAs - - Nov. 15, 2014
The Redhawks came out on fire in the well-below-freezing Pullman night and were clearly the aggressors early against a Pac-12 team that they had not beaten or tied in their previous 10 attempts. It was WSU’s first defeat in its last 27 home games against unranked, nonconference opponents.


Ernie Kent's debut in El Paso (I spent a month there one night) didn't go as well as we all had hoped. The Cougs fell 65-52 to UTEP and showed that they have a long way to go if they want to be competitive this year. The two most glaring deficiencies in this game were rebounding and turnovers. WSU turned the ball over 22 times, 16 of which were unforced, according to Ernie Kent. UTEP also collected 46 rebounds, with 17 coming on the offensive end (Where have you gone, DJ Shelton?).

Put together, those two things are extraordinarily difficult to overcome. Couple that with subpar shooting from your primary scorer, and its a recipe for a double-digit loss. The biggest indignity came from the UTEP beat writer, who referred to the Cougs as "pesky." Yes, a team from Conference USA had to work to subdue a "pesky" team from the Pac-12. Such is the state of affairs with the men's team.

Over on the women's side, things were significantly better. WSU welcomed the 22nd-ranked Dayton Flyers to Beasley Coliseum Friday and chalked up an impressive win. In direct contrast to the men, the WSU women collected 30 Flyer turnovers and held Dayton to 31 percent shooting. After a slow start, the Cougs went on a 20-2 run midway through the first half and the game was never really close after that. Congrats to June Daugherty and the team for a great win to start the season.

UTEP stymies Cougars - - Nov. 14, 2014
Vince Hunter scored 14 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in Friday’s season opener and UTEP beat Washington state 65-52, ruining coach Ernie Kent’s return to the court.

WSU basketball: box score and a couple thoughts - SportsLink - - Nov. 14, 2014
It's apparent what the differences in this game were: rebounds and turnovers. On the postgame radio show coach Ernie Kent told host Bud Nameck that 16 of WSU's 22 turnovers were unforced. The Cougars gave up 17 offensive rebounds, leading to 18 second-chance points for UTEP.

UTEP men's basketball: Miners defense brings victory against Washington State - El Paso Times
The Miners did defend, smothering the Cougars at every turn — holding them to 52 points and 35.2 percent shooting from the field (28.6 percent from beyond the 3-point arc). That alone will win basketball games.

Cougars Knock Off No. 22/22 Dayton in Season-Opener - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
The Kendall house was divided last night, but the WSU alum husband won bragging rights over the Dayton alum wife. In reality, we watched a few episodes of Parenthood while I sipped on some Crown Royal Regal Apple and checked the score on my phone.

Trailing by 15 at halftime, Dayton (0-1) would get no closer than 13 to Washington State (1-0) in the second half. The Cougars led by as many as 19, including at 66-47 with just under six minutes remaining in the contest.


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