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>>

  • Inside Eastern Washington Football Sneak Preview

    Inside Eastern Washington Football Sneak Preview

    Before the game SWX will start the festivities with a live pregame show at 11:00 a.m. PT with special ESPN guest Colin Cowherd, all leading up to a behind-the-scenes feature on EWU football at noon. Enjoy the trailer for the Inside Eastern Washington Football special in the video player above!>>
    Before the game SWX will start the festivities with a live pregame show at 11:00 a.m. PT with special ESPN guest Colin Cowherd, all leading up to a behind-the-scenes feature on EWU football at noon. Enjoy the trailer for the Inside Eastern Washington Football special in the video player above!>>
  • EWU Volleyball Preview

    EWU Volleyball Preview

    A wealth of talent at every position combined with a trio of determined senior leaders have the Eastern Washington volleyball program ready to make its 2014 campaign a memorable one.>>
    A wealth of talent at every position combined with a trio of determined senior leaders have the Eastern Washington volleyball program ready to make its 2014 campaign a memorable one.>>
  • Spokesman's Jim Allen On EWU Football

    Spokesman's Jim Allen On EWU Football

    Spokesman-Review Eastern Washington University beat writer Jim Allen joined SWX's John Collett in the Fasteners Sports Studio to talk about Eagle football with the program's earliest and most prominent start quickly approaching.>>
    Spokesman-Review Eastern Washington University beat writer Jim Allen joined SWX's John Collett in the Fasteners Sports Studio to talk about Eagle football with the program's earliest and most prominent start quickly approaching.
    >>
  • Washington St.WSUMore>>

  • Jason Gesser Answers 'Ice Bucket Challenge' From Michelle Dapper

    Jason Gesser Answers 'Ice Bucket Challenge' From Michelle Dapper

    Monday, August 18 2014 12:12 PM EDT2014-08-18 16:12:41 GMT
    Last week SWX's own Michelle Dapper challenge Washington State legend Jason Gesser to take the 'Ice Bucket Challenge' and on Sunday Gesser finally answered the challenge. Checkout the video.>>
    Last week SWX's own Michelle Dapper challenge Washington State legend Jason Gesser to take the 'Ice Bucket Challenge' and on Sunday Gesser finally answered the challenge. Checkout the video.>>
  • Catching Up With The Cougar Camp

    Catching Up With The Cougar Camp

    SWX's John Collett spent the day in Pullman on Tuesday to catch up with the Washington State University football team as it continues its fall camp this week with the season quickly approaching.>>
    SWX's John Collett spent the day in Pullman on Tuesday to catch up with the Washington State University football team as it continues its fall camp this week with the season quickly approaching.
    >>
  • WSU Defense Strong In First Scrimmage

    WSU Defense Strong In First Scrimmage

    Sunday, August 10 2014 1:05 AM EDT2014-08-10 05:05:06 GMT
    Washington State football held its first scrimmage of fall camp, working through roughly 60 plays at Sacajawea Middle School Saturday afternoon.>>
    Washington State football held its first scrimmage of fall camp, working through roughly 60 plays at Sacajawea Middle School Saturday afternoon.
    >>