The Washington State Cougars rolled to their second consecutive big victory, sprinting past Prairie View A&M for a 90-62 win — their seventh in a row to begin the season.
Efe Abogidi led a balanced attack with 16 points, 14 rebounds, and 4 blocks, one of five Cougs to reach double figures in scoring as WSU reached its highest scoring output of the season in both total points and efficiency (1.27 points per possession).
The Cougars used some strong shooting from behind the arc to build a modest 17-13 lead about eight minutes into the game as Prairie View A&M did its best to keep up. But a 12-0 spurt from there — fueled by another trio of 3-pointers, two from Ryan Rapp and Andrej Jakimovski’s third of the game — opened the lead up to 29-13.
That’s when things got a little crazy.
The Panthers play a frenetic, swarming style of defense with their small-ish lineup that jacks up the tempo and entices opponents into a running game. The Cougs, who don’t play a slow-down game but aren’t exactly a running team, jumped into the fray — and found success.
The primary beneficiary was Abogidi, who found himself cleaning up all kinds of messes around the rim as the Panthers’ defensive movements left the glass wide open time and time again. The Cougars rebounded half of their misses — 19 offensive rebounds in all — and Abogidi had six of them himself as WSU scored 27 second chance points.
The decisive spurt came from the last minute of the first half to the first minute of the second, a 12-0 run that pushed WSU’s lead to 22. The lead hovered around 20 points for the remainder of the game, as the Cougars and Panthers traded sloppy possessions with WSU’s firepower proving to be just too much.
It wasn’t the prettiest game to watch — Isaac Bonton committed five turnovers in the second half as he tried some tricky passes with a big lead — but it was comfortable more or less from beginning to end: The Cougs outscored the Panthers 47-25 in the first 10 minutes and last 10 minutes combined, closing it out on a 10-2 run to push it to the final margin.
It was WSU’s second consecutive win by 28 points.
Prairie View A&M scored 0.87 points per possession, the Panthers’ lowest output of their four games so far this season. Four of WSU’s seven opponents have had their lowest efficiency of the season against WSU.
Noah Williams was second on the team with 13 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists, while Isaac Bonton (12 points), Jakimovski (11), and Kunc (11) also scored in double figures.
The Cougars wrap up the non-conference season against Northwestern State on Wednesday.