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Cougs head to the Westside for round two

Feb 25, 2022

at Washington (13-13, 8-8) | Sat., Feb. 26 | 3 pm | Alaska Airlines Arena
  Live Stats | StatBroadcast
  Watch | Pac-12 Network (J.B. Long & Matt Muehlebach)
  Listen | WSU Learfield Radio Network (Matt Chazanow & Craig Ehlo)

OPENING FIVE
> The Cougs look for their second season sweep of the Huskies in three years under Head Coach Kyle Smith after a 78-70 win Wednesday night in Pullman. Having won 4 of 5, Smith has the best record to start against the Huskies since Tony Bennett won five straight over a decade prior.
> Mouhamed Gueye introduced himself to the Apple Cup series with an impressive 25 point burst Wednesday night going 11-of-23 as the freshman picked apart the zone defense. The 25 points tied for a Coug season high and the most for a true freshman since CJ Elleby netted 26 at UW in 2018-19.
> Efe Abogidi came up with a massive game against the Huskies going for a career best 21 points and 14 rebounds. His 10 offensive boards were the most for a Coug since Stats.inc started tracking stats in 1996-97.
> The Cougs defense continues to be among the elite ranking 23rd in defensive rating at 93.5 per 100. WSU has allowed opponents to shoot and effective FG% of just 46.9% (50th in the country).
> WSU's NET sits at 49, down from its all-time high of 36 entering the week. In the KenPom rating the Cougs check in at 46.

GAME INFORMATION - at WASHINGTON
Round two of the Boeing Apple Cup Series commences Saturday in Seattle as the Cougs look for the season sweep of the Huskies for the second time in three seasons under head coach Kyle Smith. The Cougs took game one in Pullman Wednesday, 78-70, thanks to the unstoppable play of their bigs as Mouhamed Gueye (25&5) and Efe Abogidi (21&14) picked apart the UW zone. Under head coach Kyle Smith the Cougs are a perfect 2-0 in Seattle against their rivals including getting a 15 point win last season in Seattle. The win was the largest on the road against the Huskies since 1994. In the win, Noah Williams came up with 21 points while Efe Abogidi and Dishon Jackson combined for 24 points and 16 rebounds in the post. Abogidi went for 13 and 13 in the victory.
In all, the Cougs have won four of five in the Kyle Smith Era, the best start to a coaching career against their rivals since Tony Bennett won five-straight to begin his tenure at WSU.

NEXT UP
The Cougs play their final regular season road contest Monday in Corvallis in the first of back-to-back contests against Oregon State. The game Monday is a rescheduled contest from a previously postponed game due to Covid-19 protocols. Last season the Cougs and the Beavers split their season series with both teams winning on their home courts.
The series between the two schools is the third longest continuous running rivalries in the country trailing only WSU vs Idaho (1906) and Baylor vs Texs (1908). The two teams have played every year since Feb. 20, 1909 (OSU won 30-16) with the Beavers holding the all-time lead at 175-126.

LAST TIME OUT - vs WASHINGTON
WSU 78 - UW 70 | Feb. 23, 2022 | PULLMAN, WASH.
Snapping a five game skid the Cougs held serve in the Boeing Apple Cup winning 78-70 Wednesday night in Pullman over rival Washington. Despite a late rally by the Huskies, the Cougs held strong in the final minutes to secure the win as Michael Flowers iced the game from the line with WSU scoring the games final seven points. In the win Mouhamed Gueye (25 points, 5 rebounds) and Efe Abogidi (21 points, 14 rebounds) dominated the paint to beat the Huskies zone defense. The duo were the first Coug teammates with 20+ points since Isaac Bonton (25) and Noah Williams (21) achieved the same feat at UW a year prior.

GUEYE MAKING A NAME FOR HIMSELF
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.
Overall, the young forward has posted a team-best three double-doubles on the year including his first Pac-12 double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds against Stanford Jan. 13. He would go for 12 & 11 against ASU Feb. 12.
Gueye would score 25 points in his first Apple Cup game, the most for a Coug freshman in a Pac-12 game since CJ Elleby scored 26 vs UW in 2018-19.
Overall, Gueye is averaging 7.7 points (2nd among Pac freshmen) and 5.4 rebounds per game and has been stellar on both ends nabbing 17.2% of defensive chances while grabbing 9.4% on the offensive end. 10 times on the year Gueye has led the Cougs in rebounding.
The big 6-11 forward has found his outside stroke as well hitting 5-of-14 (35.7%) in Pac-12 play.
Freshman Record Book Watch:
25 steals - 10th, Keith Morrison (1983) 27 steals
24 blocks, 6th - 5th, Carlos Daniel (1995) 25 blocks | 4th, Robbie Cowgill (2005) 27 blocks
146 rebounds, 6th - 5th, Stuart House (1977) 167 rebounds

ABOGIDI RISING
Forced to adjust to a knee injury suffered over the summer while training with Team Nigeria, sophomore Efe Abogidi has begun to find his rhythm on the floor, looking like the explosive problem on both ends of the floor Coug fans grew to love last season.
Abogidi has scored in double-figures seven times on the year. Abogidi recorded his first double-double of the year to start 2022 going for 16 points and 10 rebounds at Colorado.  At Cal he would go one better finishing with 17 points, 11 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 4 steals. He had a monster game vs UW going for a career-best 21 points and 14 rebounds (10 o-boards).
Defensively he leads the way with a defensive rating of 89.3.

~ Complete Release ~ (PDF)

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