PULLMAN, Wash. -- Washington
State began their 2012-2013 season Saturday night with a convincing 88-69 win
over Eastern Washington at Beasley Coliseum. The Cougars (1-0)
paced the way the majority of the game and cruised to a dominating
performance behind a swarming defensive performance and a balanced
An impressive defensive effort by the Cougars forced the Eagles (0-1)
into 36 attempts from behind the arc, and the Cougars marched as a team
offensively - led by Brock Motum's
23 points and 10 rebounds. The Cougars brought an aggressive
defensive mentality that kept the Eagles outside of the key and pushed
them deep in the perimeter, forcing tough shots all evening.
Rebounding and free throw shooting have often been contributing factors
for this Cougar basketball teams' downfalls.
Whereas the free throw shooting did not improve - the Cougars shot 23
of 36 (63.8%) from the charity stripe - the swarming on the boards was
a vast improvement. In addition to Motum's impressive
double-digit rebounding performance, D.J.
Shelton added 12 boards, while Mike
Ladd and surprising true freshman
style="font-weight: bold;">Junior Longrus each hauled in five.
Longrus, who was 2-of-2 from the field, performed very well in limited
minutes, adding four points and a block to his rebounding
numbers. His surprising performance adds encouragement to the
Cougars' depth in the frontcourt - an area of concern prior to the
Ladd is finally healthy and, playing without a cast on his right hand
from a previous thumb injury, showed his true ability with 15 points
and two assists in an efficient 29 minutes. He played with
aggression on both sides of the ball, grabbing rebounds and getting to
the rack with relative ease.
The Cougars offensive game plan consisted of getting to the hole early
and often, as only 14 of their shot attempts were beyond the perimeter.
This boded well for the young backcourt of
style="font-weight: bold;">Royce Woolridge and
style="font-weight: bold;">DaVonte Lacy, who showcased their
ability to get to the hoop.
Woolridge started at point guard and played well, logging seven points
on 2-of-5 shooting in 29 minutes. Although he recorded just two
assists on the night, he was able to get a number of players involved
and showed some true potential as the apparent heir to departed senior
style="font-weight: bold;">Reggie Moore.
The Cougars were able to overcome Justin
Crosgile's valiant 28 points, and the Eagles shot only 32% from
the field - a large contrast to the Cougars' 55% - and this due in
large part to the defensive effort from WSU.
Playing an in-your-face man defense for the majority of the game, the
Cougars frustrated the Eagles from the start. They forced the
Eagles into 14 turnovers, which translated into 20 points.
Their hustle was on full display tonight, as well. WSU had seven
steals - three from Will Dilorio
alone - and added 12 second-chance points.
The Cougars are now 1-0 on the season, and host Utah Valley on November
14th in Pullman.