WSU battled neck-and-neck with Oregon State most of the night, but the Cougars just couldn't come up with enough offense when needed as they fell to the Beavers, 55-50.
It was somewhat remarkable that the Cougs were even able to hang in there with Oregon State until the last four minutes or so, given that DaVonte Lacy finished the night with only 5 points on a horrendous 2-for-10 shooting night that included 1-of-6 from three and 0-for-2 from the free throw line.
A big part of the reason WSU was able to stay close was Josh Hawkinson's return to effectiveness; he had a hand in roughly half of the Cougars points, as he scored 16 and dished out 5 assists to go with his 10 rebounds. Ike Iroegbu also had a nice game with 11 points, 4 assists and 4 rebounds, although he needed 11 shots to reach double digits.
The rough shooting was contagious once again for WSU, which has proven prone to shooting droughts. For whatever reason, the Cougars can't find the key to unlock the offense against Oregon State, because while the Beavers are indeed one of the better defensive teams in the conference, the Cougs had plenty of shots that they just flat missed. Before a couple of late threes by Que Johnson when the game was already more or less decided, WSU was 2 of 18 from three.
In two games against OSU, the Cougars are 9-for-46 (19.6 percent) from beyond the arc.
Still, the Cougars had a chance to grab this one, as they led by one at 44-43 with under five minutes to go. But an old nemesis came back to bite them: Langston Morris-Walker -- who was otherwise practically invisible all night -- hit a three-pointer to put OSU up two, and the Beavers never looked back, stretching the lead out to seven with 2:27 to go and effectively putting the game away.
For the second consecutive game against OSU, the Cougs were victimized by a big game from an unlikely candidate, as Jarmal Reid scored 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting. The pudgy big man repeatedly abused WSU's interior defense, playing a part in both Jordan Railey and Junior Longrus fouling out.
He also was the catalyst for getting OSU back into the game in the first half. The Cougars led by eight points with just under seven minutes to go in the opening period, but the Beavers closed the first half by outscoring WSU by six to cut the halftime deficit to just two. From there, it was a see-saw affair until the final minutes.
The Cougars will try to rebound on Sunday against Oregon in Eugene.