Monthly Archives: February 2013

Men’s Basketball Preview: WSU vs. Arizona

By Nate Hanson

The Washington State Cougars (11-16, 2-11) look to the right the ship in a big way against #12 Arizona (22-4, 10-4) tomorrow in Tucson. The Cougs are on a 7 game losing streak, while the Wildcats have won 2 straight. Arizona won the previous meeting 79-65 in Beasley Coliseum.

The Cougs loss to Arizona State Wednesday resembled their blowout loss against UCLA just a few weeks ago. After a quick start, the team seemed to lack effort, especially on the defensive end. Arizona State shot 50 percent from the field against the Cougs. No matter what team you are, if you give up 50 percent shooting to you’re opponent, you will come out on the losing side.  Carrick Felix tore the Cougs apart inside with 23 point and 11 rebounds, while freshman sensation Jahii Carson added 21 of his own. The two combined to shoot 14-25 from the field. The Coug defense needs to regroup if they have a chance of stopping Arizona’s top scorers.

Solomon Hill was red-hot from beyond the arc in the first matchup. He hit six treys, accounting for his 18 points. Hill’s performance was symbolic for the Wildcats as a whole. Four players got into double figures (Hill, Lyons, Tarczewski and Ashley), and the team shot 47 percent from the field. Arizona is one of the best teams in the country at moving the ball around offensively until someone gets an open look. If the Cougs are going to have a shot in this game they need to keep Arizona under 40 percent shooting.

Offensively, the Cougs had success against Arizona. The team shot 41 percent from the field and had 4 guys in double figures, Motum, Shelton, Lacy and Woolridge. One of the few bright spots in PAC-12 play for the Cougs has been the offensive emergence of Royce Woolridge. It appears Woolridge is more comfortable playing in Head Coach Ken Bone’s system and he’s filling in for the lack of production of other Cougs. Woolridge had a career-high 36 points in the heart-wrenching loss to Oregon. He followed that performance with 16 against the Sun Devils on Wednesday. If Woolridge can get into the 20’s, and Brock Motum and Davonte Lacy get at least 15 each, the Cougs will have a chance.

It will be a tall task for the Cougs on Saturday. A lot has to go right, but if the Cougs are able to slow down Arizona and keep them under 70, then WSU should be right in the ballgame. If Arizona gets over 70, it could be another long game for Bone’s team. Game time is set for noon tomorrow and can be seen on Root Sports.

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Women’s Basketball Reaction: WSU vs. Oregon

By Nate Hanson

It seemed to be smooth sailing for the Washington State Cougars heading into Sunday afternoon’s road contest against the Oregon Ducks. The Cougs had won five of six, including three straight road wins. Oregon was on a six game losing streak and had won only three games all year. However, their lone PAC-12 win came against the Cougs in Beasley Coliseum, and the Ducks once again nipped the Cougs for a 65-60 win.

It’s hard to tell whether the Cougs (10-15, 6-8) were overconfident heading into the game and their inability to make shots was due to a lack of focus, or whether they were just struggling. WSU was 6 of 35 from the field in the first half (17%), a number that would make Pete Maravich roll over in his grave. Oregon (4-22, 2-12) was able to take advantage of the Cougs’ poor shooting and build a 28-15 halftime lead. Similarly to the first matchup, the Cougs would have to make a second half comeback to defeat the Ducks, and similarly to the first matchup they came up short.

WSU shot 40% from the field in the second half, but the Ducks kept pace with the Cougs. Two points was the closest WSU would get after Taylor Edmondson hit a layup with 15 seconds left to make the game 62-60. Oregon was able to hit a couple of late free throws, and Sage Romberg’s trey came up empty, putting the nail in WSU’s coffin.

Lia Galdeira led the way for the Cougs with 19 points, but she was only 8 of 26 from the field. That’s a lot empty possession that ended up costing the Cougs in the end. Mariah Cooks provided good minutes off the bench with 11 points and 6 rebounds. Romberg added 8 points and 7 rebounds in the Cougs’ valiant comeback attempt.

To pull off an upset, the underdog must have someone step up. For Oregon, sophomore guard Jordan Loera was up to the challenge as she had 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Ducks. Loera came into the game averaging 6 ppg. The team’s leading scorer, Jillian Alleyne, added 15 points and 17 rebounds to boost an already impressive freshman campaign. Ariel Thomas added 10 points for the Ducks as well.

The loss Sunday is an obvious setback for the Cougs. WSU was hoping to get to .500 in PAC-12 play, but that will have to wait for at least two more games. Basketball is always unpredictable. For whatever reason, a team sometimes just has the other’s number. Oregon has the Cougs’ on speed dial.

Next up for the Cougs is a road trip to take on Colorado and Utah. The Cougs will face the #20 Buffaloes (9-5, 20-5) in Boulder Friday night at 6. It will be the first matchup of the season between the two teams. You can listen to the game on Hit Radio 104.3 or Newstalk 1150.

Men’s Basketball Reaction: WSU vs. Oregon

By J.T. Menard

In a thrilling and wild game last night at Beasley Coliseum, the Washington State Cougars (11-15, 2-9) narrowly fell to #23 Oregon (21-5, 10-3) in a 79-77 overtime defeat.

WSU was thinking upset from the very start, coming out of the gate strong and matching a pair of early
Oregon 3’s with their own. Oregon came out of the gate with a full-court press and the strategy was
initially successful at shutting down Brock Motum and forcing turnovers.

The Cougars quickly adjusted, as Royce Woolridge stepped up to fill the place of the injured Mike Ladd
and Motum’s cold shooting. Woolridge played out of his mind. Watching him last night was a
breathtaking spectacle for the approximately 5200 fans on hand for the game. Woolridge did it all; he
drove hard into the lane, going up for layups and drawing fouls. When the inside game wasn’t there, he
sank daggers from beyond the arc. He fed his teammates with open looks, came up with steals, and was stout on defense. Woolridge finished the night with a career-high 36 points, going 10-15 from the field and 6-9 from beyond the arc. He also sank 10 of his 11 free-throws, while chipping in five assists and three steals.

The Cougars quietly built a lead throughout the first half with the stellar play of Woolridge and the quiet
yet crucial contributions of D.J. Shelton and Dexter Kernich-Drew. The Cougars received a further boost
when Oregon center Tony Woods was ejected for a flagrant foul on Brock Motum. Woods delivered
an elbow to Motum’s head after an Oregon rebound. The foul wasn’t noticed by fans and officials alike,
and it took a while for officials to stop play after Motum went to the floor, writhing in pain. A video
review was undertaken with the end result being Woods’ ejection. From there it was all WSU, as they built an 18 point lead over Oregon. Oregon chipped that deficit back down to 11 at the half.

Oregon pulled themselves together during halftime, and just a few minutes into the second half, the
Cougars found themselves in a pitched battle instead of a runaway rout. E.J Singler, Carlos Emory and
Damyean Dotson began to heat up with help from Oregon’s top rebounder Arsalan Kazemi, who picked
up a number of offensive boards, giving Oregon a number of extra scoring opportunities.

The two teams battled back and forth for the duration of the half. Critical fouls on Motum and
Woolridge on 3-point shots gave WSU six free throw attempts late in the 2nd half, of which they made five, allowing WSU to stay within reach of Oregon.

The crucial moment came with 18 seconds left. WSU, down by 3, fouled, sending Oregon’s Johnathan
Loyd to the free throw line. Loyd, a career 59% free throw shooter, bricked both, giving WSU the ball
with precious few seconds remaining. The Cougars drove down the court and DaVonte Lacy made a
clutch three to tie the game up with 6 seconds remaining. Oregon just narrowly missed converting a
shot at the buzzer, sending it to overtime at Beasley.

Overtime did not go well for the Cougs. A beastly dunk by Carlos Emory off a steal seemed to
take some of the wind out of the Cougs’ sails. Oregon once again led by three with nine seconds
remaining when Royce Woolridge made a deep three to tie it up once again. Then, Dexter Kernich-Drew
inexplicably fouled E.J. Singler at midcourt as he tried to get one last shot off. Singler made both free throw attempts and Woolridge’s desperation half-court shot just missed, sealing the Cougars
defeat.

With the win, Oregon strengthens their claim at the top of the PAC-12 and WSU descends further
into the bottom of the conference.

WSU fought hard, but just couldn’t close it out. Congratulations are in order to Royce Woolridge for his
outstanding performance Saturday night.

The Cougs go on the road now, for games against ASU, Arizona, and Washington. They return to Pullman on March 6th, where they will take on UCLA. As always, you can catch all the home action on KUGR Radio.

Women’s Basketball Preview: WSU vs. Oregon

By Nate Hanson

Washington State (10-14, 6-7) looks to get to .500 in PAC-12 play with a win over the last-place Oregon Ducks (3-22, 1-12) in Eugene this afternoon. A win for the Cougs would give them their fourth straight conference road win as well.

Oregon’s only PAC-12 win came against the Cougs in Beasley Coliseum three weeks ago, 70-68. The Cougs trailed 36-24 at halftime before mounting a second half comeback that fell just short as Taylor Edmondson’s game-tying jumper came up empty. The loss for the Cougs marked a low point on the season. The loss dropped WSU to 1-6 in PAC-12 play, tied for last with Oregon and Utah at the time. The loss may have been a wakeup call for the Cougs though. WSU has won five of their last six since that loss and moved from tied for last in the PAC-12 to sixth place. Meanwhile, the Ducks have continued to struggle as they have lost their last six games since the win against Washington State.

The Ducks are led by freshman forward Jillian Alleyne who averages 13.4 ppg and 12.1 rpg. Alleyne had 15 points and 13 rebounds in the win against WSU. She also received a lot of help from her supporting cast. Amanda Delgado (10.1 ppg), a sophomore guard, led the Ducks with 21 points on 7 of 13 shooting in their win against the Cougs. Ariel Thomas (10.9 ppg), a junior guard, added 20 points and 11 rebounds of her own. The Ducks have offensive firepower, but it’s been the defense that has let Oregon down this year.

The Ducks give up 77.4 ppg. This means the Cougs should get plenty of opportunities to score. Tia Presley led the Cougs with 16 points in the first matchup, but she tore her ACL at the end of the game, ending her season prematurely. Lia Galdeira had 13 points in the first game. The Cougs are going to need a better effort from Galdeira if they are going to avenge their earlier loss. Galdeira has carried the torch since Presley’s injury and I expect Galdeira to shine once again in this game. Four Cougs, Sage Romberg, Katie Grad, Mariah Cooks and Hana Potter, had 7 points in the previous game. If WSU can get that kind of balanced contribution from their role players again, then the Cougs have a great shot of getting their sixth win in seven games. I look for Carly Noyes to have a big game today. The Cougs outscored the Ducks 40-15 in the paint in the previous matchup. WSU obviously has the advantage down low, and I look for Noyes to capitalize with a double-double performance.

Besides of taking advantage of a porous Ducks defense, the Cougs need to elevate their defensive intensity from the first matchup. Oregon averages 62.1 ppg, but had 70 in their lone PAC-12 win. Delgado hit seven baskets from the behind the arc. Coach Daugherty applauded her team’s defense from Friday night’s 51-49 win over Oregon State. Look for her team to remain aggressive on the defensive end and rattle the Ducks. If the Cougs can hold Oregon to 30 percent shooting, like they did the Beavers on Friday night, WSU will come out with the victory.

Game time is set for 4 this afternoon. You can watch the game on the PAC-12 Networks.

Women’s Basketball Reaction: WSU v. OSU

By Nate Hanson

After a come from behind overtime win in their first matchup against the Beavers, it came down to the end again for the Cougs. Lia Galdeira hit a turnaround jumper with three seconds left to give Washington State (10-14, 6-7) a 51-49 win over Oregon State (9-16, 3-10) in Corvallis. The Cougs have now won five of their last six games, and sit in sixth place in the PAC-12.

The Cougs fell behind early in the first matchup against Oregon State, but this time it was the Beavers who trailed WSU at halftime, 29-16. The Beavers’ 16 points is the least amount of points the Cougs have given up in a first half this year. WSU continued to put the pressure on Oregon State in the second half as the Cougs built a 40-24 lead with 15 minutes left. The Beavers continued to fight, but with two minutes left the Cougs still led by 9 and it looked like the game was over. That was before all hell broke loose. Jamie Weisner hit a trey to cut the deficit to 49-43. Then, the Beavers forced three straight turnovers, which led to three buckets for Oregon State who tied the game up with a Weisner layup with 32 seconds remaining. Fortunately for the Cougs, Galdeira was able to erase the memory of a nightmarish 90 seconds with the game winning shot.

Galdeira led the Cougs with 17 points. She also had five rebounds. She got help on the offensive end as well. Sage Romberg stepped up with 13 points and six rebounds. After forcing 22 turnovers in the first matchup, the Cougs defense was up to the challenge again as they forced 18 Beaver turnovers. WSU outscored the Beavers 20-16 in points off turnovers (remember OSU had 6 points off turnovers in the final 2 minutes). The defense also held Oregon State to 30 percent shooting.

Weisner led the Beavers 11 points. She also had 7 rebounds and 3 assists to add to her stat line, but she had 5 turnovers that led to the Beavers digging themselves into the 16-point hole. Alyssa Martin had 9 points on the Beavers behalf as well.

This is the third straight win for the Cougs in Corvallis. For the first time since the 1990-91 season, WSU has won three straight conference road games. Next up for the Cougs is the Oregon Ducks on Sunday afternoon at 4 in Eugene.

Men’s Basketball Preview: WSU v. Oregon

By J.T. Menard

After suffering a close loss to Oregon State, the Washington State Cougars (11-14, 2-10) look to rebound against #23 Oregon (20-5, 9-3) as the two teams battle it out this weekend at Beasley Coliseum. The Cougars have struggled this season to finish close games, losing to Texas A&M, Oregon St., and #5 Gonzaga –among others– by the narrowest of margins.

The Oregon Ducks on the other hand, have had a stellar season so far, and are looking to close out the season on a high note and secure an NCAA Tournament bid after making it to the NIT quarterfinals last year. The Ducks fell into a bit of a rut, losing three consecutive games to conference opponents Stanford, Cal, and Colorado, but bounced back with wins over Utah and Washington.

Meanwhile, the Cougars, coming off the loss to Oregon St. have dropped five straight games. The
Cougars have a tough test ahead of them if they want to stop the skid. The Ducks are a tall, physical
team that spread the ball around well, with five players averaging 10 points or more per game. The
Cougars will need stout defense and some offensive fireworks from Brock Motum, Royce Woolridge,
and DaVonte Lacy.

Game time is 4:00 today at Beasley Coliseum. If you can’t attend the game you can catch the action on KUGR Radio.

Women’s Basketball Preview: WSU vs. OSU

By Nate Hanson

Washington State (9-14, 5-7) returns to the hardwood tonight to take on the Oregon State Beavers (9-15, 3-9) in Corvallis. The Cougs are coming off an 80-65 loss at the hands of #17 UCLA. The loss for WSU snapped their 4 game winning streak, which began with a win against the Beavers nearly three weeks ago in Pullman. The Beavers are in the midst of 6-game losing streak.

The game in Pullman started out all Beavers. The Beavers shot 59 percent from the field in the first, which gave them a 38-24 leading going into the halftime intermission. However, Coach Daugherty’s team rallied back in the second half. The Cougs began the second half on a 17-2 run to give them the lead 41-40. The game went back  and forth in the final minutes.  Alyssa Martin had a chance to hit a game winning three for the Beavers as time expired, but her shot was air-balled, which gave the Cougs new life in overtime. The Beavers opened up a 6 point lead with two minutes remaining in overtime. Not to be outdone though, the Cougs came back and scored the final 9 points of the game to win 76-73.

A big key in the Cougs’ comeback win was that WSU forced 22 turnovers, which led to the Cougs’ 28-13 advantage in points off turnovers. WSU needs to have the same type of defensive effort in order to sweep the season series from the Beavers. It will be tough for the Cougs because Oregon State can get shots inside with Patricia Bright and on the outside with Alyssa Martin, Ali Gibson and Jamie Weisner. Those four players combined for 51 of the Beavers 73 points in the meeting three weeks ago. WSU will not be able to stop all of Oregon State’s scorers. As a result, the Cougs need to limit the Beavers’ balanced offense, and one way to do that is by forcing turnovers.

The Cougs also need Lia Galdeira, the team’s leading scorer averaging 14.7 ppg, to continue to dominate on the offensive end. Galdeira had 22 points in the win against the Beavers. Galdeira cannot do it alone though. Mariah Cooks had a season-high 16 points off the bench for Coach Daugherty’s team in the win in Pullman. Cooks or another Cougs has to step up to carry the offensive load. The Beavers will hone in on Galdeira, which leave open shots for other players. The Cougs need to be ready and knock down the open looks because they will be available.

Finally, WSU needs to get off to a good start. They cannot fall behind by 14 again at half and expect to make another comeback. It’s tough to make that type of comeback in Beasley, much less in Corvallis. Tonight is a good opportunity for the Cougs to begin another win streak and send the Beavers back to their den on a 7 game losing streak.

Game time is set for 7 tonight.