Cougs look to wrangle the Gauchos Monday
> The Cougs ran their non-conference win streak to 15-consecutive games dating back to Dec. 4, 2019 at Idaho. The last time out the Cougs downed Seattle U, 79-61, to move to 2-0 on the year.
> Junior Tyrell Roberts kicked of his DI career with back-to-back double-digit scoring efforts posting 16.5 ppg in his opening week including hitting 4.0 3pt-pg on 47.1% shooting from deep. He is tied for the Pac-12 lead with 8 3ptFG made.
> Defensively the Cougs came up with 7 blocks against Seattle U, the most since blocking 8 against IUPUI Dec. 16, 2017. Efe Abogidi tied a career-high with 4 blocks in the game. He sits 29th in the country at 3.00 blocks per game after the opening week of play.
> Offensively the Cougs rate #61 in offensive efficiency (106.7 points per 100 possessions) the highest ranking in over a decade. Defensively the Cougs also check in at #61 (93.7 points per 100) nearly 6 points better than the national average of 99.6 points per 100.
> Freshman Mouhamed Gueye has started both games of his young career and scored in double-figures for the first time with 10 points against Seattle U. He leads the team with 3 steals.
GAME INFORMATION - vs UC SANTA BARBARA
The Cougs and the Gauchos meet for just the fourth time in the all-time with UCSB leading the series 2-1 having won the last two matchups. The two sides last met in 2014 in at the Great Alaska Shootout with the Gauchos winning 71-43. The only other time the sides met in Pullman came way back in 1984 with the Cougs prevailing 80-69.
Monday's game marks the first DI contest for the Gauchos on the year after opening the season with a 119-65 win over DII San Francisco State. The 119 points was the fourth-highest scoring effort from the Gauchos in program history. Josh Pierre-Louis and Amadou Sow split the crown scoring 25 apiece and impressively went a combine 18-for-24 from the field for a .750 field goal percentage
Washington State hits the road for the first and only time in non-conference play for a true road contest at Idaho Thursday night. The trek across the border for the Battle of the Palouse sends the Cougs to the Vandals brand new home, the ICCU Arena.
The matchup between the Cougs and the Vandals is officially the longest continuously run rivalry in the country dating back to Jan. 13, 1906 in Pullman. The Battle of the Palouse took the crown for the longest running rivalry last season after the Ivy League opted out of the 2020-21 season snapping five inter-conference rivalries that had just edged out the Cougs and Vandals for continuously run rivalries.
LAST TIME OUT
The Cougs moved to 2-0 on the year with a 79-61 win over Seattle U as four difference players reached double-figures. For the second-straight game Tyrell Roberts led the way netting 17 points including hitting four more three-pointers. Noah Williams and Dishon Jackson shook off a rough first night to each score 13 points while Jackson added 9 rebounds. Freshman Mouhamed Gueye hit 10 points for the first time in his young career in his second start of the season. The Cougs did their damage in the second half outscoring the Redhawks 44-29 in the half including shooting 52% from the floor.
The sophomore leap has the Cougs looking ready to break out. In the last two seasons the Cougs have seen stars CJ Elleby and Noah Williams take giant leaps in their second year on the Palouse and now look for their four sophomores to do the same.
Off and running in the second year of action, Efe Abogidi, Dishon Jackson, TJ Bamba, and Andrej Jakimovski have not disappointed in the first weeks of the season.
Abogidi enters the game 26th in the nation with 3.0 blocks per game while tying a career-high with 4 against Seattle.
Jackson just missed his first double-double against Seattle with 13 points, 9 rebounds.
Bamba has broken out scoring double-digits in the opener and averaging 9.5 points and 4.5 rebounds through two games.
Jakimovski's 6.0 rebounds per game is tied for the team lead alongside of Jackson.
COUGS LOOKING TO CONTINUE THEIR DEFENSIVE TREND
Harkening back to the era of the Bennetts the 2020-21 Cougs put their stock on their defense. On the year the Cougs finished among the elite ranking #24 in the country in defensive adjusted rating of 91.3 per 100 possessions. The ranking was the best ranking for the Cougs since 2009 when the Tony Bennett led Cougs finished #8 (90.4 per 100). In five of six seasons under the Bennetts the Cougs finished inside the top-16 with four years finishing in the top-10 including #1 in 2005. The Cougs finished 2019-20 at #83 (98.0 per 100).
The jump to #24 was a leap of 59 spots after finishing 2019-20 ranked #83 (98.0 per 100 possessions)
Overall WSU finished the year ranked #68 in the country in defensive FG% allowing teams to shoot just 41.5% with an effective FG% of just 46.6% (#32 in the DI).
The Cougs enter the week ranked #61 in defensive efficiency allowing 93.6 points per 100 possessions). The national average is 99.6. Additionally the Cougs have allowed a 41.7 effective FG%, #51 in the nation.
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