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Bring on the Bruins

Feb 16, 2022

at #13 UCLA (21-4, 10-4) | Thr., Feb. 17 | 8 pm | Pauley Pavilion
  Live Stats | StatBroadcast
  Watch | FS1 (Alex Faust & Steve Lavin)
  Listen | WSU Learfield Radio Network (Matt Chazanow & Craig Ehlo)

> The tough stretch gets tougher as the Cougs hit the road to LA to take on #13 UCLA Thursday night. In the lone meeting of the year between the two teams the Cougs have to go to Pauley Pavilion looking for their first win since 2009. The two teams have split the last two seasons with each winning at home.
> WSU could not complete the comeback at Oregon, falling 62-59 Monday in Eugene. The loss pushed the Cougs' skid to a season-long three games and snapped a two-game winning streak against the Ducks.
> In the last five games Michael Flowers has scored 20+ points three times including a Pac-12 high 23 at Oregon Monday. In those games he is shooting 39.2% (29-74) from the floor and 39.0% (16-41) from deep while averaging 17.6 ppg and 2.8 apg.
> The Cougs defense continues to be among the elite ranking 21st in defensive rating at 91.9 per 100. WSU has allowed opponents to shoot and effective FG% of just 46.0% (30th in the country).
> WSU's NET sits at 46, down from its all-time high of 36 entering the week. In the KenPom rating the Cougs check in at 46.

The gauntlet continues for the Cougs as WSU heads to LA to take on the UCLA and USC beginning first with the Bruins at Pauley Pavilion. The Cougs split their series with the Bruins in each of the last two seasons winning at home at Beasley Coliseum while falling at Pauley Pavilion. Unfortunately for the Cougs their only matchup against the Bruins comes on the road this season where they will look for their first win since 2009. WSU is 3-60 all-time at Pauley Pavilion.
The win over the Bruins last season as the Cougs last win over a top-25 team as UCLA rolled into Pullman ranked #24.

Round two against the Trojans is set for Sunday as the Cougs look for revenge after a heartbreaking 63-61 loss to USC in December in Pullman. The Trojans got a layup from Chevez Goodwin with :16 seconds to play to pull ahead while a 3 pointer from Noah Williams missed the mark in the final seconds. The Trojans have won 11-straight against the Cougs with the last win for WSU coming in 2015 in LA. In the loss Michael Flowers led the way with 13 points while Dishon Jackson added 7 rebounds.

ORE 62 - WSU 59 | Feb. 12, 2022 | Pullman, Calif.
A flurry of threes in the games final seconds gave the Cougs a chance at the comeback in Eugene but Michael Flowers three with :03 to play rimmed out as WSU dropped its third straight contest. Flowers finished the game with 23 points (a high in a Pac-12 game for the senior) but it was not enough as the Ducks' bigs controlled the paint and nabbed their first win over the Cougs in three seasons.

Harkening back to the era of the Bennetts the Cougs have put their stock on their defense. In total, the Cougs have allowed just 62.5 points per game and are 21st in the country in defensive rating at 91.9 per 100 possessions. (DI average of 102.6)
WSU enters the week ranked 39th in the country in defensive FG% allowing teams to shoot just 40.3% with an effective FG% of just 46.0% (30th in the DI). 
The Cougs rank 39th in 2-ptFG% allowing teams to shoot just 46.0%.
WSU became the first Pac-12 team since Utah in 2014-15 to hold multiple conference opponents under 45 points in the same season (29 at ASU, 43 vs Colorado). The last time the Cougs achieved the feat was in 2005-06 when they held the Bay Area schools under 45 in the same weekend in Pullman.

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