Cougs look to get back on track against the Bears
vs Northern Colorado (6-6) | Sat., Dec. 18 | 1 p.m.
Live Stats | StatBroadcast
Watch | Pac-12 Networks- Washington (Greg Heister & Dan Dickau)
Listen | WSU IMG Radio Network (Matt Chazanow & Craig Ehlo)
> The Cougs play their final non-con home game at Beasley Saturday facing off against Northern Colorado. The game is the first meeting all-time between the two teams.
> For the first time on the year the Cougs have dropped back-to-back contests (by a combined 6 points) falling to New Mexico State Wednesday. In the loss Michael Flowers led the way with 15 points (his 5th straight game in double-figures)
> Michael Flowers has been the Cougs' most complete player posting an offensive rating of 128.8 (81st among all players and 18th among players with a 20% usage rate). He leads the Pac-12 in 3pt per game at 2.82 while shooting 39.7% from deep.
> The Cougs are among the elite in Free Throw shooting in 2021 having hit 177 of 235 attempts (75.3%). WSU ranks 18th in the country in made free throws and 54th in FT% - led by Tyrell Roberts who is a perfect 24-for-24 to start his career while Noah Williams is 3rd in the Pac-12 having made 36 FT (36-of-47, 76.6%)
> WSU's NET rating sits at 59, dropping from the program best of 37 last week.
GAME INFORMATION - vs NORTHERN COLORADO
With one last non-con game at Beasley the Cougs are set to host Northern Colorado Saturday afternoon. Despite being relatively close regionally, the Cougs and the Bears have never met on the floor in their histories. The Bears enter the week 6-6 overall having won their last three of their last four contests. They last faced off against #8 Arizona falling in Tucson 101-76 despite a career high from Daylen Kountz scoring 33 points. Kountz leads the way at 20.1 ppg as the senior is shooting 50.3% from the floor and 44.2% from deep. Kur Jongkuch is the leader in the paint at 9.3 points and 9.7 rebounds per game.
The Cougs head back up to Spokane for the second time in the month as the WSU meets Boise State at the Spokane Arena to close out non-conference play. WSU dropped its first game at the Arena against South Dakota State falling on a buzzer-beating three. All-time the Cougs and the Broncos have played six times with WSU taking four of the six including winning the last two in 2006 and 2007. The 2006 matchup pitted the two teams against one another at the Spokane Arena with WSU winning 65-63. The Broncos are 7-4 on the year having won their last four games, three of which were played in Boise. The Broncos face off against Montana Tech Sunday before traveling to the Palouse.
LAST TIME OUT - vs NEW MEXICO STATE
NMSU 64 - WSU 61 | DEC. 15, 2021 | PULLMAN, WASH.
Sir'Jabari Rice scored 19 of his 22 points in the second half as New Mexico State steadily eroded a double-digit Washington State lead to come away with a 64-61 victory on Wednesday night. The Aggies (9-2) trailed by 18 after Washington State opened the second half with three straight 3-pointers. Rice scored the next seven points for New Mexico State, four at the line plus a 3, to begin the steady comeback over the next 14 minutes. Teddy Allen, who scored 12 of his 18 after halftime, hit a 3-pointer to forge a 58-58 tie with 3:49 remaining. Allen was 0-for-7 from beyond the arc up to that point. He was fouled on a 3 and made all three free throws with 1:56 to go as the Aggies led 63-60. Washington State (7-4) has a chance to tie the game in the final moments but a layup and later a last-second three from Noah Williams fell just off the mark as the Aggies held on for the win.
BAMBA MAKING THE LEAP
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, TJ Bamba has begun to take the leap as the second-year wing has broken out scoring double-digits five times on the year including three straight (all starts)
Bamba is averaging 9.5 points and 3.7 rebounds (doubling his production from last season). Defensively he leads the team at 1.1 steals per game and has recorded 7 total blocks including at least one block in each of the last three games.
He is shooting 39.5% from deep.
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