The Washington State Cougars used a dominant second half to propel a bounce-back win over the Weber State Wildcats, 94-60.
The Cougars (7-2 overall, 1-1 Pac-12) led by 11 at the break before breaking the game wide open with a 59-point second half. Weber State (8-1, 2-0) would attempt to claw their way back into the game, getting as close as the halftime deficit of 11 with seven and a half minutes remaining, but the Cougars would quickly silence any thoughts of a Wildcat comeback, ending the game on a 32-9 run.
Washington State entered the game without center Dishon Jackson and reserve guard Jefferson Koulibaly. Kyle Smith decided to shake up the lineup with T.J. Bamba earning his first start of the season in place of Tyrell Roberts.
The Wildcats took a 13-12 lead with 11:07 left in the first half in a back-and-forth opening 10 minutes, but they would surrender the lead for good less than two minutes later on a D.J. Rodman three. The Rodman three would help spark a 23-11 run for Washington State to end the half with a 35-24 lead.
The Cougars would start the second half hot, opening with a 9-3 run. The Cougars would keep their distance, not allowing the Wildcats to pull within single digits in the final 19:15 of the game. Rodman would essentially put the game on ice, knocking down one of three three-pointers in the final four minutes of the game to give the Cougars a 19-point lead. Rodman would deliver a career-high four three pointers when his final three hit the bottom of the net with 2:15 to go.
Despite not having their leading rebounder and rolling out multiple small ball lineups, the Cougars dominated the glass, allowing Weber State to rebound just 10% of their own (plentiful) misses. The Cougars did get into some foul trouble early with five different players recording two fouls before the half, but they would limit the damage in the second half with none of those five players ever getting to a fourth foul.
Defensively, the Cougars did a sound job of locking down the Weber State guards. The Wildcats’ leading scorer Koby McEwen was held to just 3-11 from the field and 12 points; overall, the Wildcats were limited to just 21.7% from beyond the arc and 35.7% from the field.
Noah Williams led all scorers in the game with 17 points. Mouhamed Gueye would record his first collegiate double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Rodman gave the Cougars some sharpshooting off the bench, knocking down all four of his three-point attempts, ending the game with 14 points.
This is a sound win for Washington State after losing a heartbreaker just four days prior to No. 20 USC. Weber State would enter Wednesday night’s matchup in the top-100 in the KenPom.com rankings and 47th in the NCAA’s NET rankings.
The Cougars will make the trip up to Spokane on Saturday afternoon for a neutral site game against South Dakota State.