In their final home game of the year, your Washington State Cougars (9-17 overall, 1-13 Pac-12) will take the floor at Beasley Coliseum for the final time in the 2015-2016 season and go against the California Golden Bears (18-8, 8-5). Tip time is set for 5:30 p.m. PST.
The game will be broadcast on ESPNU and can be streamed through the Watch ESPN website and mobile app. Roxy Bernstein and Corey William will be on the call and Matt Chazanow will have the play-by-play on the Washington State IMG Sports Radio Network, accessible here.
This is the first and only meeting of the season between the two teams. After being ranked No. 14 in the preseason AP poll, Cal fell out of the top 25 but is now challenging for a first-round bye at the Pac-12 tournament under second year head coach Cuonzo Martin. Freshman Jaylen Brown, the five-star recruit who chose Cal over the likes of Kentucky, North Carolina, and Kansas, leads the Bears in scoring with 16.0 points per game. Tyrone Wallace (15.4), Jordan Matthews (13.4), and Ivan Rabb (11.9) all average double figures in the scoring column for Cal.
This game poses a difficult challenge for the Cougars, who are riding a 12-game losing streak and haven't won a game since January 3. Washington State has won three straight games on senior night, so here's hoping the Cougs have something up their sleeve in order to upset the Golden Bears.
Cal has the top scoring defense in the conference, allowing an average of 67.0 points per game. They're also allowing just a shade over 1.0 points per possession in league play, which also is tops in the conference. It seems like every game this season the Cougars have gone into their "no-scoring offense," going a stretch of minutes without making a field goal or getting to the free throw. It's critical tonight that the Cougars, who are the worst offensive team in the conference on a per-possession basis, avoid a stretch like that or Cal seemingly will make them pay.
The Cougars will honor seniors Brett Boese and Junior Longrus pregame as they take the floor for the final time at Beasley Coliseum. Boese will be remembered as a three-point specialist off the bench who came to Washington State from Shadle Park High School in Spokane as his only Pac-12 offer. Longrus came to WSU from Bishop O'Dowd High School in Oakland. He's been one of the better defenders on the team, most notably locking down Gonzaga's Kyle Witljer after Wiltjer's hot start against the Cougs in their December match-up. Both will go on to have successful careers in something other than basketball, as profiled here by Spokesman-Review's Jacob Thorpe.
After this game, the Cougars will travel to Oregon to face the Ducks and Beavers before wrapping up the regular season at Washington in early March. The Cougars are almost certain to receive the 12 seed for the Pac-12 tournament down in Las Vegas. They would face the No. 5 seed in the opening round, which as of right now is Cal. Things are likely to change -- four teams are bunched between 8-5 and 8-7 -- but there is a chance the Cougars will see Cal in the first round of the tournament for a second straight year.
This page will also serve as your game thread for the game tonight.