Pac-12 Play Begins Wednesday for Men's Basketball
WASHINGTON STATE (2-0, 0-0)
vs Oregon State (2-0, 0-0) | Wed., Dec. 2 | 7 p.m.
Live Stats | Sidearm Stats
Watch | Pac-12 Network (Greg Heister & Dan Dickau)
Listen | WSU IMG Radio Network (Matt Chazanow & Craig Ehlo)
> Conference play begins in the Pac-12 as the Cougs host Oregon State Wednesday. The conference plays 20 games for the first time this season tipping off a semi slate of games in early December. The contest between WSU and OSU is the 300th all-time.
> Both the WSU and OSU enter the game 2-0. Last season the two teams met only once with the Cougs dominating the day at Pullman, 89-76, in front of the Warriors' Splash Brothers as WSU retired all-time great Klay Thompson's #1.
> While the offense has struggled the Cougs have found a way to grab a pair of comeback wins to open the season, outscoring their opponents by 16 in the second half, winning their two games by a combined 7 points.
> Senior Isaac Bonton has struggled to find his efficiency on the offensive end but enters the week No. 2 in scoring in the Pac-12 at 19.5 ppg.
> A young team with seven freshmen (1 RS) and four sophomores, the youth has been served early with center Efe Abogidi showing as the Cougs most dynamic player through two games while sophomore Noah Williams has dominated on both ends of the court.
GAME INFORMATION - VS OREGON STATE
Wednesday's game marks the 300th all-time meeting between WSU and Oregon State with both teams entering the contest 2-0 on the young season. The Beavers are coming off a 114-42 win over Northwest, the highest scoring total for OSU since 1997 and enter the week the best shooting team in the Pac-12 at 56% from the floor.
The last time the Cougs faced the Beavers the Splash Brothers were in the building. Whenever Isaac Bonton drained a 3-pointer or dished out an assist, NBA and Washington State great Klay Thompson was on his feet, cheering on the young point guard. Thompson ended up spending a lot of time on his feet as Bonton scored a career-high 34 points and Washington State beat Oregon State 89-76 on 1/17/20 snapping a four-game skid against OSU.
LAST TIME OUT - VS EASTERN WASHINGTON
WSU 71 - EWU 68 | Nov. 28, 2020 | Pullman, WA
Noah Williams scored a career-high 19 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and made several big plays down the stretch to help Washington State beat Eastern Washington 71-68 on Saturday night. The Cougs overcame a 13-point first half deficit and a six-point half time hole to come up with their second-straight comeback victory.
In back-to-back games to start the year the Cougs have erased half-time deficits (3 vs TSU, 6 vs EWU). Last season the Cougs were just 3-11 in games when trailing at half with their biggest comeback coming against UCLA, winning in OT after trailing by 7 at the break.
In addition to halftime comebacks, the Cougs overcame a 13-point deficit against the EWU, trailing 16-3 to start the game.
The Cougs also snapped a 16-game winless streak in the Coach Smith era when trailing with five minutes to play in the game as EWU held a slim one-point advantage at the five minute mark before WSU took its first lead of the game with 4:48 to play, never to trail again.
HOME SWEET HOME
In a new era under head coach Kyle Smith, the Cougs have made the most of their time at home going 2-0 to start the year at Beasley Coliseum.
Last year, WSU was 12-5 in home games (11 at Beasley Coliseum). The 12 wins tied for the most in a single season in the past 20 years since winning 12 in 2006-07.
The big difference being turnover margin as WSU was +4.2 at home and just +1.2 on the road. Additionally, the Cougs scored nearly 7 points more per game going 71.2 ppg at home and 64.9 ppg on the road.
WILLIAMS AN X-FACTOR
Back and better than ever, sophomore Noah Williams continues to prove himself as an x-factor for the Cougs on both ends of the court. Against Eastern Washington, Williams scored a career-best 19 points including showing off his range with a trio of three-pointers. He had four career three-pointers heading into the contest.
In addition to his offensive spark, Williams has been the Cougs' best defender having posted five steals in two games.
He has drawn a team-best four charges in two games, including a pair of charges in the final seconds (:16 sec vs TSU, :03 sec vs EWU) of both games to seal comeback victories for the Cougs.
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