Cougs Come Alive Late, Beat Jackson State 52-41 - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Cougs Come Alive Late, Beat Jackson State 52-41

Posted: Updated:

by Christian Caple, The Spokesman-Review

PULLMAN – Buried this week beneath an avalanche of textbooks and lecture notes, Washington State's men's basketball team didn't figure to look its best against Jackson State on Thursday.

It's finals week here. WSU coach Ken Bone saw the academic pressure wearing on his players in practice. And once the game started, so did the 2,686 at Beasley Coliseum, where the Cougars wheezed their way to a 52-41 victory over the winless Tigers.

Bone acknowledged his team's 19 turnovers. And its 3-for-19 effort from 3-point range. And then he took the blame, suggesting those woeful numbers were his own doing.

"I think our guys are really tired. They're very tired from this week. It's draining," Bone said. "It's my fault that we scheduled the game this week. It's my fault the way we played. It's not like our practices have been great, either. We got exposed tonight because of the fatigue factor."

Jackson State (0-7), then, must be about to collapse. This was the Tigers' second of four games in seven days. And they might have made this one even more interesting if their shooting had only been poor. Instead, it was atrocious.

Consider that JSU made its final two field-goal attempts in garbage time, and still only made 13 of its 57 attempts from the field, producing a final field-goal percentage of 22.8.

Five of those makes were from 3-point range. On 24 attempts.

"I liked our defense," Bone said. "I thought our ball-handling was really, really bad, and our shooting was bad. Whatever we needed to do when the ball was in our hands was not very good."

But, as Bone noted, the Cougars allowed only 20 points that weren't the product of their own turnovers. Jackson State went without a field goal for a nearly eight-minute stretch in the second half, during which WSU built its lead to 50-37 thanks to an 18-3 run.

Senior forward Brock Motum had 12 of the Cougars' points in that span, and finished with a game-high 27. Bone said he didn't want to play Motum as much as he did – 38 minutes – but WSU wasn't able to pull away until late.

WSU (7-4) never really did establish any rhythm offensively. DaVonte Lacy was the only Cougars player to make a 3-pointer (he had three of them on eight tries), though he was also pulled from the game twice after forcing ill-advised passes.

The shots were there, Bone said. They just didn't make them.

"I'll bet out of the 19 3-point attempts we shot, at least two-thirds, and maybe even 14 or 15 of those shots were wide open shots," he said.

"I had a feeling it was going to be like that," Motum said of the lethargic performance. "But we still tried our best to come out as hard as we could. But I think it was inevitable … it's really tough to get up for games just because a lot of guys are really focused on school."

Bone said he didn't want to schedule a game during finals week, but also didn't want the Cougars to go 11 days without a game. So when he found out Jackson State was traveling to the West Coast for games against Saint Mary's, Seattle University and Washington, he arranged for the Tigers to make a stop in Pullman, too.

"I know how busy the guys have been academically," Bone said. "We're not a professional basketball team. This is not the only thing these guys do. It was totally expected, at least from me.

"We're not bad. We'll get better."

  • College SportsCollegeMore>>

  • Local Basketball Teams Praised By NABC For Excellence

    Local Basketball Teams Praised By NABC For Excellence

    A trio of local University basketball teams have been named among the best academically by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) on Wednesday, July 23.>>
    A trio of local University basketball teams have been named among the best academically by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) on Wednesday, July 23.
    >>
  • Williams Shuts Down Bells, Before Bats Rally To End Skid

    Williams Shuts Down Bells, Before Bats Rally To End Skid

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 12:30 PM EDT2014-07-23 16:30:37 GMT
    When the top two pitching staffs in the West Coast League, you can expect a quality pitching performance. That’s exactly what the Yakima Valley Pippins and Bellingham Bells delivered Tuesday night, as the Pippins rallied late to win, 6-1 at County Stadium.>>
    When the top two pitching staffs in the West Coast League, you can expect a quality pitching performance. That’s exactly what the Yakima Valley Pippins and Bellingham Bells delivered Tuesday night, as the Pippins rallied late to win, 6-1 at County Stadium.>>
  • Eastern Washington AD Bill Chaves In Studio

    Eastern Washington AD Bill Chaves In Studio

    Eastern Washington University Athletic Director Bill Chaves joined SWX's Sam Adams in the Fasteners Sports Studio to talk about Eagle football and the upcoming season.>>
    Eastern Washington University Athletic Director Bill Chaves joined SWX's Sam Adams in the Fasteners Sports Studio to talk about Eagle football and the upcoming season.
    >>
  • Washington St.WSUMore>>

  • WSU's Halliday Named To QB Award Watch List

    WSU's Halliday Named To QB Award Watch List

    Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday has been named to the 2014 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award® Watch List, the Davey O’Brien Foundation announced Wednesday.>>
    Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday has been named to the 2014 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award® Watch List, the Davey O’Brien Foundation announced Wednesday.
    >>
  • Former Coug Johnson Named To Double-A All Star Game

    Former Coug Johnson Named To Double-A All Star Game

    Former Washington State outfielder Kyle Johnson is an Eastern League All-Star. The Double-A circuit’s All-Star Clash is scheduled for 7 p.m. Eastern/4 p.m. Pacific, Wednesday at Peoples Natural Gas Field.>>
    Former Washington State outfielder Kyle Johnson is an Eastern League All-Star. The Double-A circuit’s All-Star Clash is scheduled for 7 p.m. Eastern/4 p.m. Pacific, Wednesday at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
    >>
  • WSU Basketball Announces 2014-15 Schedule

    WSU Basketball Announces 2014-15 Schedule

    The Ernie Kent Era of Washington State University men’s basketball begins with five home nonconference games, as well as the return of the Cougar Hardwood Classic, a trip to the Great Alaska Shootout and a solid Pac-12 schedule, as announced by Kent in the release of the 2014-15 schedule, Wednesday.The Cougars’ nonconference schedule is set, as well as all home opponents. The Pac-12 will announce the completed conference schedule in conjunction with the Pac-12 Networks follow...>>
    The Ernie Kent Era of Washington State University men’s basketball begins with five home nonconference games, as well as the return of the Cougar Hardwood Classic, a trip to the Great Alaska Shootout and a solid Pac-12 schedule, as announced by Kent in the release of the 2014-15 schedule, Wednesday.The Cougars’ nonconference schedule is set, as well as all home opponents. The Pac-12 will announce the completed conference schedule in conjunction with the Pac-12 Networks follow...>>