There are definite benefits to watching a team that plays at a fast pace, and one of those benefits is big scores when that team gets on a roll from the field. The WSU Cougars did just that on Saturday, tying a school record with 18 3-pointers on 30 attempts en route to a 91-71 win over UTSA.
The Cougs started fast and never trailed. Davonte Lacy dropped 21 points in the first 12 minutes, leading Washington State a 52-26 halftime lead.
This game was a stark contrast to WSU's loss to Idaho on Wednesday, when Lacy struggled to hit open looks and the rest of the team followed suit. On Saturday, Lacy hit 10 of 15 from the floor, including 8 of 12 from beyond the arc, to finish with 31 points.
Sophomore guard Ike Iroegbu was in double figures for the third straight game, scoring 14 on the strength of 4 of 5 from downtown. Dexter Kernich-Drew shook off some recent struggles to put up 12 points. Jordan Railey piled on some points in garbage time at the end, highlighted by an impressive one-handed dunk over a helpless UTSA player.
That's just mean, Mr. Railey.
Is this a sign of things to come for the Cougs? They won't face a worse defensive team the rest of the year, and even when there are plenty of open looks it's rare to have so many guys clicking at once. Add in that the Cougs turned the ball over on 27 percent of possessions - they are typically stingier with the ball - and this looks like more of the exception on the offense than the rule.
At the same time, the Cougs probably won't shoot as poorly with open looks as they did against Idaho either. There has to be a middle ground somewhere, right?
But long term stuff aside, it's always fun to see a team shooting well. Hopefully the Cougs have at least a few more of those performances in store as the season goes on, because they will need them to pull upsets in the Pac-12. Having a guy like Lacy that can take over a game offensively, as he did in the first half on Saturday, never hurts either.
Savor this win Coug fans. Gonzaga is up next.