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Cougs host No. 24 Bruins Thursday

Feb 9, 2021

2020 21 WSU MBB Notes 20 UCLA

vs #24 UCLA (13-4, 9-2) | Thr., Feb. 11 | 8 p.m.
  Live Stats | SideArm Stats
  Watch | FS1 (Noah Eagle & Casey Jacobsen)
  Listen | WSU IMG Radio Network (Matt Chazanow & Craig Ehlo)

> Back home after playing eight of the last 10 on the road, the Cougs take on UCLA Thursday on FS1. The two teams met earlier this season in Westwood with the Bruins winning 91-61 for their second-straight win in the series. The Cougs won last year at Pullman, defeating UCLA in OT.
> Youth rising, while the freshmen have received the pub the Cougs sophomores have taken over led by Noah Williams, Ryan Rapp, and DJ Rodman. The three combined for 41 of the 66 points scored at OSU last time out.
> Senior Isaac Bonton continues to dominate the Pac-12 scoring 20+ in three of the last four games while averaging 19.1 ppg in Pac-12 play. Last time against UCLA, Bonton scored 23 on 10-of-17 shooting.
> Sophomore Noah Williams continues his turn to elite status having averaged 15.6 ppg in his last 7 games. Additionally, he has been the Cougs best from deep on the year hitting 31-72 (.431), eighth among Pac-12 shooters.
> Freshmen have powered the Cougs as Efe Abogidi (19), Andrej Jakimovski (15), and Dishon Jackson (10) have moved into the starting lineup. Their combined 44 starts is the third most in Division I trailing only Kentucky (51) and KState (45).

The Cougs return home to take on the LA schools beginning with a rematch against #24 UCLA who won the first matchup, 91-61, shooting lights out in the contest. The win by the Bruins was the second-straight in the series at LA with the Cougs winning the last time the two teams met at Pullman, winning in OT thanks to 17 points from Isaac Bonton (16 coming after half).
UCLA sits tied atop the standings alongside of USC. The two teams met last week with the Trojans dominating the night behind Evan Mobley.

OSU 68 - WSU 66 | Feb. 6, 2021 | Corvallis, Ore.

The Cougars last second rally came up just short as the Beavers held on to defeat WSU for the first time in the last two seasons. Sophomores Ryan Rapp (15) and DJ Rodman (14) each had career nights in the loss as the Beavers took advantage of Cougar mistakes and a +20 advantage at the free throw line to hold on for the win.

Last time against the Bruins the Cougs fell behind early and could never recover as UCLA shot a blazing 64.5% in the opening half to lead by double-digits at the break. Even more frustrating for the Cougs was the fact that WSU shot an impressive 57.7% in the half but could not catch the redhot Bruins. In the loss, senior Isaac Bonton scored a game-high 23 points but was the lone Coug to hit double-figures. 

After dealing with injuries and illness for much of the year, the Cougar sophomores have reemerged on the otherside looking to take control of the team. Leading the way is Noah Williams who has started all 19 games and is second on the team averaging 13.3 ppg. Prior to an ankle injury, DJ Rodman looked like he was taking the sophomore leap before missing 8 games. The sophomore came back with a career efforts in Oregon going 7 for 11 from deep in two games while notching 14 points at OSU. Ryan Rapp has dealt with lower leg injuries and Covid-19 protocol, missing six games, before reemerging at the OSU to lead the team in scoring for the first time notching 15 points including hitting a career best 3 for 5 from deep.

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