Washington State could not pull off the state of Oregon sweep, losing 68-66 to Oregon State on Sunday. The Beavers appeared to have iced the game away in the final minutes, but an ill-advised foul sent Isaac Bonton to the line for three free throws trailing 68-64 with 3 seconds to play. Bonton made the first two and intentionally missed the last. The Cougs corralled the rebound after a scrum but did not have enough time to get a shot off.
On Thursday against Oregon, the Cougs were powered by a standout performance from Bonton. On Saturday, it was the opposite as Bonton could just not get his rhythm on the offensive end. Bonton finished with just 7 points on 2-of-14 shooting.
With Bonton struggling, the Cougs got major contributions from DJ Rodman and Ryan Rapp. Rodman scored a career-high 14 points, while Rapp set his career-high with 15 points. Noah Williams chipped in with 12 points.
Oh, also Efe Abogidi did this:
Not over yet, WOW#GoCougs pic.twitter.com/SDq5DnUTf1— WSU Men's Basketball (@WSUCougarMBB) February 7, 2021
A three-pointer by Bonton gave the Cougs a 34-32 lead with 30 seconds to play in the first half. It was also the Cougars’ first lead of the game. After getting off to an icy cold shooting start — including beginning the game 0-for-10 from deep — it seemed unfathomable to have the halftime lead. Despite shooting 35% in the half, the Cougs led thanks to their defense, including forcing 12 first half OSU turnovers.
WSU got off to a cold start to begin the second half as well, opening the half with a 3:37 munite scoreless drought. To make matters worse, Dishon Jackson rolled his ankle going up for a rebound only to have Williams also roll an ankle less than a minute later. Both players were forced out of the game. Williams returned three minutes later while Jackson sat out the rest of the game. He eventually returned to the bench with ice wrapped around his ankle.
In the first half, the Cougs were able to hang around in part to going 7-of-7 at the free throw line. In the second half, the Cougs could not get a call. And instead got whistled for seemingly everything. WSU didn’t shoot a single free throw in the second half until there were 14 seconds left while OSU went 15-of-21 from the line in the second half and 23-of-31 for the game. The Cougs were called for 16 fouls in the second half. The Beavers were called for seven, three of which were intentional fouls in the final 20 seconds.
A cold night from Bonton combined with a massive disadvantage at the line was too much for the Cougs to overcome.
The Cougs played the game without Jaz Kunc who was out with an illness, but was on the bench.
WSU will return home to host No. 21 UCLA on Thursday.