Against the Ducks, Wazzu was simply outplayed in just about every category. Guard DaVonte Lacy led the Cougars with 19 points and hit 5 of 6 from behind the arc. He was clearly WSU’s best player on the night. Forward Brock Motum was the only other starter who played well with 12 points and 5 rebounds. The Ducks beat them with efficiency, hitting 76% of their 2-pointers and 69% from the floor overall. The Cougars faced a daunting 54-34 halftime deficit and collected just 22 boards. Motum’s 5 rebounds led the Cougs and guard Marcus Capers had three. This was a controlling win from start to finish for Oregon.
Oregon State is now desperate to split their road series by similarly beating Wazzu. The Cougs (8-5, 0-1) seem to be just a mediocre team. A label OSU is still working to put behind them. Unless they win Saturday many more people may start using that term to describe the team should we start 0-2 in conference. I thought Oregon St. played too sloppy of a game against UW and got off to a poor and slow start which they can ill afford to repeat many times at all this year if they hope to make the NIT or even NCAA tourney. Oregon St. clawed back from 20 points down at one point and 11 at halftime to get back within 3 with just under 3 minutes to play. Then UW went on a tear and more experienced players on the OSU team were shown how to finish by Tony Wroten and the Huskies as they surged at the finish to win 95-80.
In order to beat Wazzu tomorrow Oregon St. needs to value each possession. Burton needs to cut down on the difficulty of some of his passes. I think Starks needs to try a few jumpers earlier in the game and not be trying to find his range too late by getting shot and 3 happy in the 2nd half. He made a few but was never hitting at too good of a percentage. Collier and Brandt were hampered more than usual against 7-0 N’Diaye. It was disappointing to see Cunningham stall out at 15 points and miss several free throws as he was outplayed by Wroten. This Beavers team needs to watch the Lakers-Blazers game where Kobe and Shaq came back from a big deficit to knock out Portland from the Western Conference Finals. The Husky finish last night was a bit similar. They just outmanned and outexecuted us when it mattered the most.
The Cougars are not quite at the same level of the Huskies this year but they won’t be wanting to start their season 0-2 either. The team that wants it more and reveals that through tough play and determination will get more respect from the refs and secure the needed ‘W’. OSU cannot afford losing this game and still have dreams of the NCAA in my opinion. I know it is a long season but the respect and mystique of a bold up and comer will be severely damaged should we lose. The Beavs need to gut this one out and get back to a strong all around and balanced attack. They need to rebound better and limit the kind of 2nd chances the Huskies benefited from too often. Take it to them and get a moderate lead going into halftime. Then take pride in finishing to get the season goals back on track.
I am only hopeful we will win this one. If we have the right attitude, take care of the ball and take good shots then we should win. If we lose focus for stretches or don’t improve the defensive effort we will probably come up a little short. I say we right the ship but it is too close for comfort. 3 pm tip on ROOT Sports.
Oregon St. 82, Wazzu 78