The woes continue for the Washington State Men’s Basketball program as they lose again in clinical fashion, this time in Eugene. The Oregon Ducks beat the Cougs 84-57 without seeming to break much of a sweat.
Robert Franks missed the game with a knee injury, forcing the Cougars to start little-used Davante Cooper in his place. Without their star forward, Washington State was forced to attempt to take down the Ducks from the outside, shooting 28 three-pointers.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: The Cougs were able to stay in this one for the first fifteen minutes or so due to hot shooting from the outside, led by Carter Skaggs’ three three-pointers, but eventually Oregon’s superiority took over and made things pretty laughable, taking a 38-28 lead into halftime. Payton Prichard led the Ducks with ten points in the first half. A sequence involving Viont’e Daniels’ shot getting violently blocked by Kenny Wooten, leading to a fastbreak dunk by Troy Brown with a weak contest from Arinze Chidom resulting in a three-point play, followed by a Viont’e Daniels turnover on the ensuing inbounds pass is probably among the pieces of film Ernie Kent will not want to show his team to keep things positive.
The Cougs switched strategies defensively for the 2nd half, selling out for anything inside and pretty much allowing any three-pointer to go uncontested. The gamble worked for a few minutes, as the Ducks found themselves unable to hit many threes in the second half when no defenders were within ten feet of them. But tides turned for good in the Ducks favor at the twelve-minute mark when Victor Bailey, Jr. hit a three pointer while being fouled by Milan Acquaah. The four-point play put the Ducks up eleven and they never looked back.
Malachi Flynn led the Cougs with 16 points and 5 assists. He was called for a flagrant foul in the closing seconds of the game, stopping a dunk after getting his pocket picked.
The loss drops Washington State to 9-15 overall and 1-11 in conference play. They have now lost seven in a row and 15 of their last 18. The Cougs have lost four in a row to the Ducks and ten of the last eleven matchups. The last time Washington State won in Eugene was ironically the beginning of the end for Ernie Kent’s tenure coaching Oregon. Tony Bennett was coaching WSU.
Next up for the Cougs is a return home to play the Colorado Buffaloes Thursday night. The Buffs come into Pullman on a three-game win streak.
The Cougs were outscored by 59 points on a two-game road trip. The anthracite uniforms were pretty.