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Ready for the Road, Cougs Head to Cal

Jan 6, 2021

2020 21 WSU MBB Notes 10 CAL

ar Cal (5-6, 0-4) | Thr., Jan. 7 | 7 p.m.
  Live Stats | Statbroadcast 
  Watch | Pac-12 Network (Ted Robinson & Don MacLean)
  Listen | WSU IMG Radio Network (Matt Chazanow & Craig Ehlo)

> The Cougs enter the week off a loss for the first time on the year after dropping a double-OT game to Arizona (86-82) last week. The loss snapped a 9-game winning streak for the Cougs, the fifth longest streak in the NCAA. WSU was down four players due to Covid-19 protocol.
> WSU takes on a reeling Cal squad that not only suffered a sweep last weekend but saw their leading scorer, Matt Bradley, go down with an ankle injury at Oregon State.
> Youth has been served as the Cougs started three true freshmen against the Wildcats, the first time since 2005-06. The three combined for 34 points on 22 FG attempts, 22 rebounds, 3 blocks and only 3 turnovers.
> Efe Abogidi continues his rise to stardom after posting 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 highlight reel blocks against Arizona. He now has 20 blocks, tied for 6th most in freshman history.
> WSU enters the game one of the top defensive units in the country ranking #1 in defensive FG% (.342) and #3 in defensive effective FG% (.391) as well as #25 in scoring defense (60.8).

The Cougs hit the road for the first time on the year as a two-week road trip to California begins with a trip to Cal. Last season, the Bears took both games in the season series including a 73-66 win at Berkeley. Cal has won three-straight against the Cougs and holds an 82-51 record all-time. 
The Bears dropped a pair last week as well as saw their leading scorer, Matt Bradley (17.8 ppg), suffered an ankle injury. The Bears are 5-6 overall and 0-4 in Pac-12 play having dropped games to Arizona State, UCLA, Oregon, and Oregon State (twice including a non-conference game to start the year).

UA 86 - WSU 82 (2OT) | Jan. 2, 2021 | Pullman, WA

The Cougs dropped their first game of the year despite a 25 point effort from senior Isaac Bonton. The story of the game for WSU was the free throw line where the Cougs were just 19-of-37 (.514) missing 18 free-throws the most since missing 20 (23-of-43) in a triple OT win over Oregon (1/14/99).

The Cougs boast a 57-45 all-time record in road openers since the 1916-17 season. Since the Pac-8 began in 1968-69 WSU is 22-28 in true road openers and 11-41 all-time in conference openers including 1-8 in Pac-12 openers since 2011-12.
The Cougs will look for to win their road opener for the first time since 2010-11 when they defeated Fresno State, 66-55 (Nov. 26, 2010) and their first conference road opener since the 2016-17 season when WSU defeated Washington in the conference opener. It is the only road opening conference win for the Cougs since the conference became the Pac-12.

Entering the year one of the youngest teams in the conference the Cougs youth has been served as the freshmen have taken over on the Palouse. Against Arizona, freshmen Efe Abogidi, Andrej Jakimovski, and Dishon Jackson (1st career start) became the first trio of true freshmen to start a game for WSU for the first time since March 9, 2006 vs Oregon at the Pac-10 Tournament (Aaron Baynes, Caleb Forrest, Chris Matthews). The trio finished the game with a combined 34 points on 22 FG attempts, 22 rebounds, 3 blocks and only 3 turnovers. 
On the year, Abogidi has started all 9 games (23.7 mpg) while Jakimovski has started 7 games (25.9 mpg). In addition Jackson is averaging 10 mpg while TJ Bamba off the bench averaged 10.8 mpg. Freshman Carlos Rosario played 7 min. in his debut against Arizona.

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