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Epic clash awaits as the Cougs host No. 4 Arizona Thursday

Feb 9, 2022

vs #4 Arizona (20-2, 10-1) | Thr., Feb. 10 | 6 pm | Beasley Coliseum
  Live Stats | StatBroadcast
  Watch | FS1 (Barry Tompkins & Dan Belluomini)
  Listen | WSU Learfield Radio Network (Matt Chazanow & Craig Ehlo)

> The Cougs enter Thursday as one of the hottest teams in the Pac having won 5-straight, the longest streak since 2006-07. Awaiting WSU is its toughest test as #4 Arizona comes to the Palouse for the one and only meeting between the two teams in the regular season. The game pits the Pac's top defense (WSU allowing 62.2 ppg) against it's top offense (Arizona scoring 85.1 ppg).
> Mouhamed Gueye was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week for the third time on the year after averaging 9.0 ppg on 8-for-13 (61.5%) from the field while also hitting 2-of-3 from deep. He would average 7.0 rebounds per game for the two contests in the Bay Area while adding four blocks and four steals on the defensive end.
> Michael Flowers, the captain, continued his stellar play as the 5th year senior went for back-to-back 20+ point games against Stanford (22) and Cal (21). He leads the way at 13.7 points per game including a Pac best 2.7 3pt per game.
> The Cougs defense continues to be among the elite ranking 22nd in defensive rating at 92.6 per 100. WSU has allowed opponents to shoot and effective FG% of just 45.2% (20th in the country).
> WSU's NET remained at an all-time high of 36 with the wins at Stanford and Cal. In the KenPom rating the Cougs check in at 33, the best rating since ranking 10th under Tony Bennett in 2008.

The Cougs take on the top ranked team in the Pac, #4 Arizona, Thursday night. The matchup in Beasley is the lone meeting scheduled between the two teams in the regular season due to the unbalanced 20-game schedule in the conference. The Wildcats sit two games ahead of the pack in the conference standings after picking up wins over top ranked UCLA and USC last weekend before taking down ASU Monday night in the rivalry series. The Cougs have dropped four-straight against Arizona including a tough 86-82 (2OT) loss last time the two sides met in Pullman. It has been a rough go for the Cougs at home against the Wildcats having dropped the last nine at Beasley with the last win comeing in 2010. WSU has won just once in the last 18 matchups.

WSU is in search of its first season sweep of ASU since 2017. Back in December, the Cougs took the win in the Pac-12 opener behind the best defensive performance in program history as WSU held ASU to just 29 points, the lowest scoring total for a Coug conference opponent in the Pac era dating back to 1968. In the game WSU held ASU to a 21.1 field goal pct., the lowest FG pct. allowed since holding Oregon to 20.8 (2/12/08). In addition to the defensive efforts the Cougs' offense did enough led by Noah Williams who returned from injury to score 14 points while Dishon Jackson picked up his first career double-double with 10&10.
The win was #200 for coach Kyle Smith in his head coaching career.

WSU 68 - CAL 64 | Feb. 5, 2022 | BERKELEY, Calif.
For the fourth-straight game and the second time on the road the Cougs took down the Bears, holding off a late push to secure the victory at the line. Michael Flowers again came up with a 20+ point outing to lead the attack while the twin towers of Efe Abogidi (16&11) and Mouhamed Gueye (10&5) dominated the paint. The win secured the Cougs' first Bay Area road sweep since 1993 when Kelvin Sampson roamed the sidelines for WSU.

In a season in which he should be a senior in high school, freshman Mouhamed Gueye has made a name for himself in the Pac-12 as a three-time conference Freshman of the Week after earning the award Feb. 7 after the Cougs sweep in the Bay Area.
On the week, Gueye finished 8-for-13 (61.5%) from the field while also hitting 2-of-3 from deep. He would average 7.0 rebounds per game for the two contests while adding four blocks and four steals on the defensive end.
Overall, the young forward has posted a pair of double-doubles on the year including his first Pac-12 double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds against Stanford Jan. 13. 
Overall, Gueye is averaging 7.2 points and 5.5 rebounds per game and has been stellar on both ends nabbing 18.6% of defensive chances while grabbing 9.6% on the offensive end. Nine times on the year Gueye has led the Cougs in rebounding.

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