Dawgs Get Neutered by Cougs

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by Craig Yamada

WSU took care of the Huskies on Sunday night, 80-69 . Who’s to blame? The refs? Nope. This one is all on the guys wearing gold tonight.

At what seemed to be an emotionally charged Husky team coming into this game, came out shooting duds in the first half as they were able to muster a season low 17 points in the first half. The lid on the rim never seemed to lift until about 6 minutes to go in the second half. The Huskies were able to scrap in the first half and keep WSU to scoring just 24 points. However, the second half was another story altogether. WSU got to every loose ball and helped extend their time of possession and keep the Huskies out of their up and down game.

Klay Thompson went off for 26 points, 13 of which came from the stripe. Klay sunk three from downtown and was able to keep the momentum with WSU most of this game. DeAngelo Casto also had himself a good game with 20 points and 13 rebounds. Casto went 8 for 8 from the free throw line as well.

The Huskies on the other hand have a laundry list of problems after losing tonight’s game. The Pac-10 title had to have been on their minds tonight having seen the events of the Pac-10 games this weekend. But UW can now kiss those hopes good bye. Now it’s a question of whether the NCAA committee will have it in their hearts to keep our hopes alive as a bubble team. At 19-9, UW will have to win both home games against UCLA and USC and make a solid run in the Pac-1o tourney. Getting to 23 wins is ultimately the goal and they are trying to achieve. But they are flirting with NIT chants given the events of tonight.

Somewhat Positives:

  • Defense in the first half: keeping WSU to just 24 points in the first half went over looked due to the fact that Dawgs could only get 17 points. However, the defense was forcing turnovers in the first half and got several stops.
  • Venoy Overton: You have to tip your hat to VO tonight as he gave it his all on both sides of the floor. Though statistically it wasn’t his best, his energy and efforts were second to none on UW’s side of the ball tonight. He pushed the ball and was able to create turnovers on defense.
  • IT: IT managed to salvage a good scoring night tonight toward the end of the game as he finished with 21 points and managed to garner 5 assists.

The Ok:

  • MBA: Rough start from the London native tonight as he saw several double teams which took him out of his rhythm offensively. MBA tallied 3 turnovers tonight and never got his low post game started until it was way too late. Golf clap to him for sinking 8 of 9 from the stripe.

The Ugly:

  • Terrence Ross: Ross truly played like a freshman tonight. He was getting burned left and right on his defensive assignments and could not stick or close out his man. He also had difficulty establishing any kind of rhythm offensively as he went 0-5 shooting and had zero points.
  • 2nd Half Defense: Reggie Moore penetrated and the ceiling came down on the Dawgs on D tonight. Back door cuts and defensive lapses led to a lot easy buckets for Casto tonight.
  • Loose Balls: Any time the Huskies were able to force a bad shot from WSU, they were unable to get the rebound in the second half. This led to a barrage of second chance points led by their star, Klay Thompson.
  • FG Percentage: 34% is not going to get it done on any night. Easily one of the worst shooting nights in recent memory for these Dawgs.
  • Free Throws: 63% won’t get it done down the stretch. IT shot 33% from the stripe. Can someone tell me why he is shooting the technical free throws when Wilcox is in the game?
  • Turnovers: 16 on the night. Can’t win with careless mistakes.
  • Aziz’s Hands: It still amazes me how uncoordinated he is in the post when a guard drops a dime to him. Although he showed some signs of a post game tonight, he missed so many easy chip shots that UW desperately needed. If he is our lone big man next year, UW will be in serious trouble.

Is there hope left? Of course there is. But night’s like tonight make it hard. It should be interesting how UW rebounds on Thursday against UCLA.