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Run it Back, Cougs Head to Boulder

Jan 26, 2021

2020 21 WSU MBB Notes 16 COLO

WASHINGTON STATE (9-6, 2-6)
at Colorado  (12-4, 6-3) | Wed., Jan. 27 | 6 p.m. PT
  Live Stats | SidearmStats
  Watch | ESPNU (Roxy Bernstein & Adrian Branch)
  Listen | WSU IMG Radio Network (Matt Chazanow & Craig Ehlo)

OPENING FIVE
> The Cougs and the Buffs run it back, this time in Boulder after meeting in Pullman last Saturday. The back-to-back comes about as a reschedule of a previously postponed contest from early December. WSU is looking for its first win at Colorado as the Buffs are a perfect 9-0 at home against the Cougs.
> WSU is looking to get back on track having dropped the last five contests including a 70-59 decision to the Buffs last time out. The Buffs overcame an 18-point Coug first half lead.
> Sophomore Noah Williams continues his transformation into one of the best two-way players in the Pac-12 as the defensive ace has scored in double-figures in 11 of 15 games including 16 against Colorado. He has been nails from deep hitting 24-for-49 (49.0%) on the year including going 12-for-19 (63.2%) in the last four games.
> Freshmen have powered the Cougs as Efe Abogidi (15), Andrej Jakimovski (13), and Dishon Jackson (6) have moved into the starting lineup. Their combined 34 starts is the third most in Division I.
> Senior Isaac Bonton restarted his double-figure scoring streak against Colorado notching 21 on Saturday. He has scored 20+ in five of the last seven games. In three games all time against Colorado Bonton has averaged 15.3 ppg on 17-for-53 (32.1%) shooting including hitting 5-for-13 from deep.

GAME INFORMATION - AT COLORADO
The Cougs and the Buffs run it back Wednesday after playing in Pullman Saturday. The game this week is a reschedule of an early season postponement between the two teams. Colorado has been tough to beat at home this season and all-time for the Cougs as WSU is 0-9 all-time in Boulder. Last season, Colorado won 78-56 in Boulder in the lone regular season matchup between the two teams.
Colorado took the first meeting between the two teams on Saturday, 70-59, overcoming an early 18-point lead by the Cougs.

LAST TIME OUT - VS COLORADO
COLORADO 70 - WSU 59 | Jan. 23, 2021 | Pullman

The Cougs started the game on fire building a quick 18 point lead. However, the shooting cooled and Colorado rallied flipping the deficit into their own 18 point advantage in the second half. Noah Williams scored 16 including hitting a career-best 4 from deep but McKinley Wright returned from a first half injury to lead the comeback in the second half for Colorado.

WILLIAMS LEADING THE WAY
Sophomore Noah Williams has been hampered by bumps and bruises that has slowed down his play in conference action including being undercut at Stanford on a breakaway layup.
Despite playing at less than 100%, Williams has scored in double-figures 11 games including his first 20+ point effort against Montana State. He has done his work from deep going 24-for-49 (49.0%) on the year including going 12-for-19 (63.2%) in the last four games.
At the line, Williams has hit 9-straight (previously hit 14-straight) and is 31-of-41 from the charity stripe on the year.
He has drawn a team-best six charges, including a pair of charges in the final seconds (:16 sec vs TSU, :03 sec vs EWU) of both the first two games to seal comeback victories for the Cougs.

BONTON STARTS A NEW STREAK
On Saturday senior Isaac Bonton started a new double-digit scoring streak after seeing his 30-game streak come to an end the game prior (was the 2nd longest streak in the country)
Overall, Bonton has 38 career double-digit scoring games. He is averaging 18.0 ppg, 3rd among all Pac-12 scorers. He has six times gone for 20+ points (five in the last seven games) including a season-high 28 in the opener and 27 at USC. He has 11 career 20+ point scoring effort. 
Even with the Utah game, Bonton has been hot in 2021 averaging 20.0 ppg on 46.9% (53-113) shooting including hitting 42.1% (16-38) from deep while also averaging 4.0 assists per game.
On the year the senior is third in the conference in getting to the line with 81 attempts (45th in the country) and sixth in makes at 54. 
In addition to his offensive spark, Bonton has been the Cougs' best perimeter defender having posted a team-best 28 steals on the year including 17 in the last seven games. 
In three games all time against Colorado Bonton has averaged 15.3 ppg on 17-for-53 (32.1%) shooting including hitting 5-for-13 from deep. He has improved from 10 to 15 to 21 points in each successive game.

~ Complete Release ~ (PDF)

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