WSU basketball suffered its first loss of the season on Friday when No. 22 Creighton raced out to a double-digit lead in the first seven minutes and never looked back, as the Blue Jays beat the Cougars 103-77 in both teams’ opener in the Paradise Jam tournament in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Seven-foot center Conor Clifford had his best game at WSU, scoring 29 points on 12-of-16 shooting. He also contributed 6 rebounds with only 1 turnover. Three other Cougs scored in double digits: Ike Iroegbu and Charles Callison each had 11, while Josh Hawkinson scored 10.
It wasn’t scoring that was the particular problem, though: The Cougs ran into the best offensive team they’ve seen this year, and the defense that we’ve become accustomed to under Ernie Kent reared its head, allowing a whopping 1.24 points per possession as the Blue Jays shot as well from 3-point range (15-of-27, 56 percent) as they did from 2-point range (25-of-44, 57 percent).
The loss puts WSU (2-1 overall) in the loser’s bracket of the tournament; the Cougs will face Montana at 3 p.m. PT. There is no television broadcast, but you can pay $20 for the privilege of watching the Cougs maybe beat a Big Sky team if you’re so inclined.