Good evening, Coug fans!
Over the weekend, your Washington State Men’s Basketball made the journey to the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip Off Tournament, where they fell first to Mississippi State, but were victorious over Rhode Island! Let’s take a look at some highs and lows of both games.
Firstly, against Mississippi:
The Cougs couldn’t quite get the job done, ending with a score of 76-64. WSU was able to get as close as 40-37, but ultimately couldn't close the gap on the Saturday game. Myles Rice recorded a season high 21 points, going 3-4 from three. Joseph Yesusu went 4-7 from three, with 15 points in game. Isaac Jones and Andrej Jakimovski both contributed in terms of rebounds, with six and seven respectively. We also saw 25 minutes from Oscar Cluff, who had five rebounds, two blocks and a steal.
The team had a stronger second half, taking their field goal percentage of 34.38% up to 48.15%, their three point percentage jumped from a meager 18.18% to 41.67%, and they stayed consistent with 75% from the free throw line. However, their second half performance wasn’t enough to take the game.
But! They had a shot to make it up the next day against Rhode Island, and really made the most of it.
Against Rhode Island:
They got the job done with a much more enthusiastic 78-51, and we saw big games from Isaac Jones and Kymanny Houinsou. In fact, it was a big game for the bench as Reuben Chinyelu put up 12 points in his 19 minutes of play as well.
Jones joined the 21 points club, with a 72% and some change field goal percentage, four rebounds, a block and a steal.
Whenever I type stats like that I makes me think of the line from the song NYC from the musical Annie- “three bucks, two bags, one me!”
Anyway, I couldn’t be alone with that thought anymore.
This game, WSU stayed pretty consistent between halves, staying within the 51% bar for FG percentage, and even went up 7% with their free throws. However, the Cougs couldn’t get three-ball to fall in the second half, going from 25.00% down to 11.11%.
Rice also gave us a nice scare, after putting up six straight points, only to be taken out after making a layup. Luckily he was back in within 10 minutes!
While it wasn’t the best free throw game, Jones managed to put two together with 7 minutes left to increase the lead to 61-49.
This Friday, men’s hoops host Utah Tech at 1pm, if you’re still in town! They’ll have a nice long stretch at home, the next away series isn’t until December 16th at the Jerry Colangelo Classic in Phoenix against Santa Clara.
Meanwhile, the women’s team handled business this week, going 3-0 with a +67 point differential in their wins over Idaho State (Nov. 12), Montana (Tuesday) and Prairie View A&M (Sunday). Bella Murekatete continued her impressive start to the season with a team-high 16 points vs Idaho State and 22 vs Montana. She also hauled an early season-high 11 rebounds for her first double-double of the year and finished just one rebound short of another against PVAMU. Charlisse Leger-Walker scored the game-high 17 points in the win against PVAMU. A much needed good shooting performance from the senior after shooting just 27.3% from the field in the first two games of the week.
The Cougs did exactly what they needed to for seven days. Grabbed comfortable victories over beatable teams and didn’t let their first road trip of the year trip them up. They were also rewarded for their efforts with a slight tick up one spot in the polls, up to #23.
While the men return to a Pullman winter for Thanksgiving, the women will be getting away to warm Cancun to participate in the Cancun Challenge beginning on Thursday. They will first square off with the Maryland Terrapins on Thursday, play the UMass Minutemen on Friday and finish up with the Green Bay Phoenix on Saturday. On Monday, the Terrapins fell out of the AP top 25 poll for the first time in 13 years. The Terps had a brutal week and the AP poll showed no mercy for it. They lost on the road to #1 South Carolina, 114-76 and ended their road trip with a loss to #6 UCONN 80-48. The Terps did grab a narrow victory on Sunday against the Syracuse Orange before flying to Cancun.
For those early risers on Thanksgiving, you can watch the women at 8AM with a subscription to FloHoops.