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Cougars defeat IUPUI to stop losing streak

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WSU steadily pulled away from the pesky Jaguars

NCAA Basketball: Washington at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t exactly a thing of beauty Saturday at Friel Court, but when you’ve lost three straight games to bad-to-awful teams, that doesn’t matter. After what felt like a year’s worth of losses to the likes of UC Davis, Idaho and UTEP, the WSU Cougars got back in the win column with a 72-59 defeat of the IUPUI-Terre Haute-Muncie-Carmel Jaguars.

WSU trailed 2-0 after the first basket, but would never trail again. They attempted to methodically pull away, despite the paucity of scoring by either team, and Jeff Pollard’s layup with 7:24 left in the first half gave them a 20-10 lead. The Jaguars would rally, however, going on a 13-4 run over the next two minutes to narrow WSU’s lead to a single point. The Cougs ended the rally there, scoring the next six points and taking a 36-30 lead into halftime.

IUPUI’s Ron Patterson hit a three-pointer to close the gap to four points early in the second half, but that was as close as the Jaguars would get. A Viont’e Daniels three capped a 9-0 Cougar spurt, and WSU kept IUPUI at arm’s length for the rest of the afternoon, never allowing the lead to fall below double digits.

The Cougars won the game despite a subpar scoring day for Robert Franks, who scored 10 points, nine below his season average. Malachi Flynn and Daniels picked up the slack offensively, scoring 17 and 15, respectively. Flynn still hasn’t shaken the turnover bugaboo. Once again, he had as many turnovers (4) as assists. Jeff Pollard also had a good afternoon off the bench, scoring 12 points in just 17 minutes.

The Cougars shot an impressive 55% from the field, and hit 8-9 free throws. IUPUI seemed to employ a “bombs away” strategy, shooting 31 threes (hitting only 10) while getting to the foul line just twice. Despite the fact that IUPUI is just 2-7 on the season, including 0-6 away from home, it was important for WSU to get back to winning. Hopefully that continues Wednesday, when they face Kansas State in Spokane.

Basketball

Defense leads to offense as Washington State cruises past IUPUI 72-59 to get back on winning track | The Spokesman-Review
WSU avoided a fourth hiccup and the Cougars matched their best defensive outing of the season, stymieing IUPUI from start to finish in a comfortable 72-59 win at Beasley Coliseum.

Football

On a semi-WSU-related note, seeing as how the Cougars beat both teams this season, Oregon kicked off the bowl season Saturday with a 38-28 loss to Boise State. The Mario Cristobal era didn’t exactly get off to a rousing start, as Oregon amassed just 280 total yards, and probably would have lost by about 35 if Boise State didn’t constantly trip over itself in the redzone.

Pac-12 bowl picks against the spread: USC covers but loses, Washington covers but wins If the past few weeks are any indication, the Cougars are in for another clunker.

Beer

Best beer I had this week: Dogfish Head’s Pennsylvania Tuxedo Pale Ale is back in my life, and that is a good thing. Very very good beer.

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Non-Sports

I generally use Richard Deitsch’s weekly media column to find articles for this space. While I didn’t this week, he published his annual “Best Journalism” article. There are hours worth of great stories in there. I encourage you to read as much as you can.

‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ and the Risk of Saturation - The Ringer
Disney, the new steward of the galaxy’s most valuable IP, is putting out ‘Star Wars’ films at an unprecedented pace. Has the company learned from the franchise’s past excesses?