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Cougs set to take on the Eagles (EWU) - Part 2

Nov 25, 2021

vs Eastern Washington (2-3) | Sat., Nov. 27 | 4:30 p.m.
  Live Stats | StatBroadcast
  Watch | Pac-12 Networks (Greg Heister & Dan Dickau)
  Listen | WSU IMG Radio Network (Matt Chazanow & Craig Ehlo)

> With one more tuneup before early Pac-12 play begins the Cougs face off against a familiar foe in Eastern Washington Saturday at Beasley. The two teams renewed their rivalry in Pullman last season with the Cougs coming out on top 71-68 thanks to a final defensive stop in the waning moments.
> WSU has run its non-con win streak to 18 straight - the streak continued with an impressive 92-86 win over Winthrop last Monday night - the Cougs have started 5-0 for the second-straight season.
> The Cougs have scored 90+ points in back-to-back contests for the first time since 2018 - The offense has been elite to start the season with an offensive efficiency number of 109.1 points per 100 possessions (38th in the country) while posting an effective FG% of 57.2% (22nd ranked).
> The Cougs have been one of the best in the country gabbing offensive rebounds early in the year ranking 7th in the country with nabbing 41.1% of the o-reb chances. At 13.00 o-reb per game ranks 58th in the country.
> Noah Williams and Michael Williams have found their offensive grooves as the duo have scored in doubel-figures in each of the last three games (four for Williams). The two combined for 39 points against Winthrop including closing out the win hitting 11-of-14 FT in the final 2 minutes.

The Cougs get one more warmup before the early Pac-12 games tip-off to begin the month of December as WSU hosts regional rival Eastern Washington Saturday at Beasley. The Cougs and the Eagles will meet for the 67th time and the 37th time in Pullman when EWU comes to town. WSU holds the advantage in the series and has won the last six in the series including five-straight in Pullman where the Cougs are 34-2 all-time against the Eagles. Last season the Cougs eked out a 71-68 win over EWU in the second game of the season. The Eagles, who are in the midst of a rebuild in Cheney, are 2-3 having won two of their last three but are coming off a loss to Texas State last time out.

Pac-12 play begins with a pair of early season matchups the first of which sends the Cougs on the road to Tempe, Ariz. to take on ASU. The trip will be the first for WSU away from the Palouse after spending the first month in the friendly confines of the wheat fields. Additionally, the game against the Sun Devils will be the third-consecutive Pac-12 contest for the Cougs against ASU after closing out 2020-21 with two contests against their southern foe, once in Tempe to finish the regular season and again in Las Vegas in the opening round of the Pac-12 Tournament. The Cougs are looking to snap a three-game skid against the Sun Devils including the last two in Tempe. 

The Cougs came up with another non-conference win over a projected conference champ, this time taking down the reigning Big South champion Winthrop Eagles, 92-86. The Cougs built a big lead (24 pts in the first half) before holding on for the win late as the Eagles three-point shooting closed the gap late. Despite the onslaught the Cougs came out on top thanks to clutch free throw shooting late including hitting 11-of-14 FTs in the final 2 minutes of the game to hold off the rally. Michael Flowers led the way for WSU with the Cougs' first 20-point scoring game of the season.

In what should be his senior year in high school after reclassifying, freshman phenom Mouhamed Gueye is proving to be every bit the 6-11 unicorn he was tabbed to be as one of the top 2022 recruits in the country.
He was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week Monday, Nov. 22 after leading the Cougs to wins over UCSB and at Idaho.
Gueye scored the first points of the season for the Cougs while picking up his first career start. He would post 6 points and 2 rebounds in his first game.
Gueye has started all five games on the year and went for double-digits (10 points) in his second game in the Crimson and Gray. He would score a career-high 13 at Idaho in just 17 minutes.
He is averaging 8.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game. He is shooting 54.8% from the floor including establishing an unguardable turnaround jumper on the block reminiscent of Hakeem Olajuwon. On the glass, Gueye has led the Cougs in rebounding in each of the last three games - dominating the defensive glass grabbing 19.7% of the rebound chances.

For the first time since 2018 the Cougs scored 90+ points in back-to-back games after hanging 109 on Idaho and 92 on Winthrop. The success has led to an offensive rating of 109.1 points per 100 possessions (38th in the country)
The Cougs recent success has been thanks to an efficient attack shooting 57.2% effective FG% (22nd in the country). Inside the ace the Cougs are shooting 59.7% (11th in the country). The three-ball has started to fall as well as the Cougs have shot 35.7% from deep (107th in the country) having hit double-digit 3s in three of five contests.
When the Cougs do miss a shot they have been stellar at grabbing the rebound pouncing on 41.7% of the chances (7th in the country). 

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