Second time chance against the Trojans
> The toughest stretch of the season ends at the Galen Center Sunday night as the Cougs look to take down #17 USC. The Trojans escaped Pullman in December with a 63-61 win, scoring a last second layup to defeat the Cougs in the second game of Pac-12 play. WSU has dropped 11 straight against the Trojans with the last win coming in LA in 2015.
> WSU dropped its fourth-straight, falling at #13 UCLA Thursday night at Pauley Pavilion. With the loss the Cougs fell to .500 in Pac-12 play at 7-7 and fell to 8th in the conference standings.
> DJ Rodman and Andrej Jakimovski found their groove against UCLA as the duo combined to score 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 blocks.
> The Cougs defense continues to be among the elite ranking 28th in defensive rating at 92.3 per 100. WSU has allowed opponents to shoot and effective FG% of just 46.6% (42nd in the country).
> WSU's NET fell to 48, down from its all-time high of 36 entering the week. In the KenPom rating the Cougs check in at 47.
GAME INFORMATION - at USC
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. USC took its game against Washington Thursday night.
The Boeing Apple Cup Series tips off with the Cougs and the Huskies meeting twice in the week first in Pullman Wednesday night before heading to Seattle Saturday to finish off the series. The game Wednesday is a reschedule of a game that was supposed to tip of the second half of the season Dec. 29 but was postponed due to Covid-19 protocols. The Cougs have won three of four against UW under head coach Kyle Smith but split last seasons meetings with each team winning on their rivals court. Both teams are vying for the last coveted bye spot in the Pac-12 Tournament in three weeks.
LAST TIME OUT - at UCLA
UCLA 76 - WSU 56 | Feb. 17, 2022 | LOS ANGELES
Despite 14 from Roberts and 11 each from Williams and Jakimovski the Cougs could not keep pace with the high-powered Bruins as UCLA handed the Cougs their most-lopsided loss of the season. The Bruins shot 51% from the floor while the Cougs shots would not fall ending the night at just 28%. The game was the lone contest between the two teams in the regular season.
COUGS STRUGGLING TO STAY AT FULL HEALTH
In the heart of the conference schedule the Cougs were dealt a blow to their depth losing center Dishon Jackson and guard Jefferson Koulibaly. The Cougs have had just two games in Pac-12 play with a full compliment of players, that being the first two conference games played in December.
Jackson has missed the last 10 games with an eye injury sustained early on the road at Utah (Jan. 8).
Koulibaly has missed the last 6 games beginning with the Cougs road trip to the Bay Area schools.
Jackson and Koulibaly missed time earlier in the year as well.
Most recently, starting wing TJ Bamba missed the Cougs game at UCLA Thursday night with a knee injury suffered at Oregon Feb. 14.
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