The Washington State University Cougar men's hoop team allowed a season-high 40 points in the first half, but responded in the second half by shutting down Mississippi State and easily defeating the Bulldogs, 83-57 in the quarterfinals of the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu. With the victory, Wazzu improves to 9-1 overall.
Wazzu jumped out to their customary early lead, 10-4, but Mississippi State clawed back to take a 12-11 lead. But junior guard Klay Thompson, who scored 17 of his game-leading 28 points in the first half fueled a mini-run that gave the Cougars their largest lead of the first half at 25-17. The Bulldogs, however, came storming back and, with the assistance of a questionable technical foul on junior forward DeAngelo Casto, took a 35-34 lead with 1:53 remaining in the half. A trey from junior Abe Lodwick gave Wazzu a 39-38 lead but Mississippi State scored a bucket just before time expired to grab a slim 40-39 advantage going into the locker room.
Questionable officiating, poor defense and poor free throw shooting allowed the Bulldogs to score 40 points in the first half but Wazzu came out in the second half brought a different result. After a trey from Lodwick gave Wazzu a 46-45 lead, Thompson and junior guard Faisal Aden rained down a succession of three-balls that put the Bulldogs away for good with a 17-2 run that produced a 60-47 lead. In fact, Wazzu held Mississippi State to nine points for the majority of the half, with the Bulldogs only scoring their additional eight points of the half long after the outcome had been determined. Mississippi State led 40-39 at halftime and Wazzu outscored the Bulldogs 44-17 in the second half.
Two Cougars were in double digits in scoring, led by Thompson with 28 points and Aden with 20 points while Aden led the Cougars with seven rebounds.
- Thompson and Aden combined to shoot 18-of-34 [53%] from the field and 7-of-14 [50%] from beyond the three-point arc.
Washington State University next plays Baylor game in the semifinals of the Diamond Head Classic at 3:30PM on Thursday, December 23, in Hawai'i
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