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> The Cougs went on Covid pause last week postponing the first half of the Boeing Apple Cup Series against Washington. Due to the pause the Cougs have not been on the court since Dec. 22 when they fell to Boise State in Spokane. Colorado has not played since Dec. 18 for the same reasons seeing its opening weekend at the Oregon Schools postponed due to Covid in both the Buffs and Ducks program as well.
> Andrej Jakimovski has hit his stride to end non-con play scoring in double-figures in each of the last two games including posting his first career double-double with 11 & 12 against Boise State.
> The Cougs defense continues to be among the elite ranking 37th in defensive rating at 92.5 per 100. WSU has allowed opponents to shoot and effective FG% of just 44.6% (30th in the country).
> WSU closed out non-con play 7-4 (8-5 with the two Pac-12 games in December). In eight wins on the year the Cougs have outscored their opponents by 180 points while in five losses the Cougs have been outscored by just 19 points with three losses coming by just one possession.
> WSU's NET rating sits at 63, dropping from an all-time high of 37 earlier in December.
GAME INFORMATION - at COLORADO
The Cougs leave the Palouse for just the second time on the year as they hit the road to the Mountain Schools to take on Colorado to begin the new year. The Buffs have been off the court since Dec. 18 due to Covid related issues. Their opening weekend against the Oregon Schools was postponed just as the Cougs. On the year the Buffs are 9-3 entering the game Thursday including 1-1 in Pac-12 play with a win over Stanford and a loss to UCLA, both in early December.
Last season the Buffs took back-to-back games 70-59 in Pullman and 70-58 in Boulder. All-time the Cougs have yet to win on the road at Colorado at 0-10. Last season Noah Williams led the way with 31 combined points in the two contests including 15 at Colorado. Dishon Jackson went for 22 and 12 combined in the two games while TJ Bamba showed out back home in Colorado notching 13 and 5 in 23 minutes.
The Cougs continue their trip in the mountains with a tilt against Utah. The Utes enter the week 8-6 overall but just 1-3 in Pac-12 play after getting swept last week by the Oregon Schools on the road. Thursday night give the Utes a chance to get back on track with a contest against Washington. The Utes have been especially tough at home on the year at 6-1 with their lone loss coming to BYU to end November.
The two teams played just once last season with the Utes taking the win in Pullman. The Cougs are looking to snap a 13-game losing streak to the Utes dating back to their last win in 2014, a 49-46 victory in Pullman. The Cougs have yet to win in Salt Lake City since the Utes joined the Pac-12 with their last win at Utah coming in 1946. WSU is just 1-18 all-time at Utah.
LAST TIME OUT - vs BOISE STATE
BSU 58 - WSU 52 | DEC. 22, 2021 | SPOKANE, WASH
Abu Kigab scored 19 points and Boise State held on in the final two minutes to beat Washington State 58-52 on Wednesday night for its sixth straight win. The game was tied at 42 before Tyson Degenhart made two free throws and a 3-pointer to help give Boise State a 49-45 lead with 2:03 remaining. Washington State pulled to 49-47 but the Broncos shot 9 of 10 from the line to end it.
Tyrell Roberts scored 16 points to lead Washington State (8-5). Andrej Jakimovski had 11 points and matched a career best with 12 rebounds. Noah Williams also had 11 points. The Cougars shot 26% (9 of 35) in the second half and 60% (9 of 15) overall from the free-throw line.
ALL OR NOTHING IN NON-CON
In an up and down non-conference season for the Cougs WSU finished their warmups to Pac-12 play 7-4 (8-5 including the two early conference games in December). For the Cougs it has been all or nothing early on as the Cougs have won their 8 contests by a total of 180 points (+22.5) while in 5 losses the Cougs have lost by 19 points (-3.8 overall and -8.6 in the second half).
In wins WSU is shooting 47.8% from the field including 37.6% from deep while holding opponents to 34.9% from the field and 28.6% from deep.
In losses WSU is shooting 34.1% from the field including 30.1% from deep while holding opponents to 46.0% from the field and 34.9% from deep.
The biggest difference for the Cougs comes from the young duo of Efe Abogidi and Mouhamed Gueye as the duo combined for 16.4 ppg and 11.6 rpg in wins while dropping to 8.6 ppg and 8.0 rpg in losses.
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