It will be a week since the Washington State men’s basketball team played a game when they host Idaho on Wednesday night at 6 pm in the Battle of the Palouse. The Cougars game against Colorado this past weekend was cancelled due to “recent developments in WSU’s COVID-19 protocol.” There was no guarantee that their game would go on this week but Washington State announced the game would go on as scheduled Monday evening.
Idaho has yet to win a game this year following two losses to start the season, both on the road at Sacramento State. In their first match up, the Hornets came away with a 77-55 victory and followed that up two days later with a 73-57 victory. The Vandals are led by Bryce Fowler who has averaged 16 points so far into the young season. The first two games that were on their schedule were canceled earlier this year, as well as their upcoming game against Gonzaga.
Washington State on the other hand received their first top-25 votes this week since the 2017 season and have a chance at being in the top-25 for the first time since 2007-08. The Cougs are coming off of a 59-55 come from behind victory over Oregon State where they trailed by 13 points during the second half. The win brought them to a 3-0 record with wins over Texas Southern and Eastern Washington as well.
Last season when Idaho hosted the Battle of the Palouse, the Cougs came away with the 78-65 victory. They have won two straight heading into this match-up with their last home loss coming in 2014 - their first home loss to Idaho since 1989.
As the only Pac-12 team that remains unbeaten after at least three games, Washington State is receiving votes in the Associated Press Top 25 men’s basketball poll for the first time since 2017.
The Cougs stay home in the midst of a 10-game home stand to begin the season with five more non-conference games beginning with Idaho Wednesday night. The Battle of the Palouse brings the Vandals to town after the Cougs went to Moscow last season and picked up a 78-65 win on the road
Sunday’s game, which at one point featured the Trojans leading 35-0, was more lopsided than the final score indicated, but the Cougars could still extract a few positives from their second loss under first-year coach Nick Rolovich. They did, after all, win the final three quarters by a three-point margin.