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Cougs look to break the Mustangs in round two of the NIT

Mar 18, 2022

at (1) SMU (24-8) | Sun., March 20 | 2 pmCT | Moody Coliseum
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  Watch | ESPN+ (Dave Feldman & Perry Clark)
  Listen | WSU Learfield Radio Network (Matt Chazanow & Craig Ehlo)

OPENING FIVE 
> The Cougs head to the second round of the NIT for the 5th time in six tournaments after defeating Santa Clara, 63-50, Tuesday night in Pullman. All-time the Cougs are 8-5 in the NIT including 7-0 at home.
> Saturday's game at SMU will be the first meeting all-time against the Cougs and the Mustangs. SMU defeated Nicholls State Wednesday night to advance to the second round while picking up its 24th win of the year. WSU is looking to do what no other team has done this season, beat SMU at Moody Coliseum as the Mustangs are 17-0 at home and a riding a 19-game home winning streak.
> WSU enters the game 20-14 overall grabbing its first 20-win season since 2010-11. It is just the 8th 20-win season since the Pac formed in 1968-69.
> WSU is coming off a game in which is set team NIT records with 10 three pointers (7 from Tyrell Roberts whose 23 points was the 4th most in an NIT game for the Cougs) and 10 team blocks (4 from Dishon Jackson tying a team record for an NIT game).
> Defensively the Cougs have allowed 64.9 points per game and are 30th in the country in defensive rating at 93.9 per 100 possessions. (DI average of 103.1). Efe Abogidi leads the way with a defensive rating of 90.4.

WSU IN THE NIT
The Cougs enter the second round of the NIT for the fifth time in six tournament appearances and for the first time since 2011. All time at the NIT the Cougs are 8-5 including going 3-1 in 2011 as the WSU, led by Klay Thompson, played its way to the semifinals, defeating Long Beach State, Oklahoma State, and Northwestern before falling to Wichita State. 
The Cougs opened the 2022 tournament with an impressive 63-50 win over Santa Clara at home at Beasley Coliseum. All-time the Cougs are 7-0 at home in the NIT. Their one win on the road came in 1995 in the second round when WSU defeated Illinois State, 83-80. On the road WSU is 1-4 in the NIT. 
In the win Tuesday the Cougs hit a team NIT record 10 three pointers (thanks to a record 7 from Tyrell Roberts). Defensively the Cougs blocked 10 shots, the most in an NIT game for WSU and the most in a game since blocking 11 against Portland State in 2010.

THE KYLE SMITH EFFECT - FAST FACTS ABOUT THE 2021-22 COUGS
- First 20-win season since 2011 (8th 20 win season since the Pac formed in 1968-69)
- Back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 2010-11 and 2011-12
- First winning season in Pac-12 play (11-9) since 2007-08 (13th time since the Pac formed)
- First top-5 finish in Pac-12 play since 2007-08 
- First postseason berth since 2011
- First postseason win (defeated Santa Clara to open the 2022 NIT) since 2011
- Largest win in program history over Idaho defeating their Palouse rival 109-61, Nov. 18, 2021 (third largest margin of victory in program history all-time)
- First win in Salt Lake City over Utah, 77-61 (Jan. 8, 2022) since 1946
- First sweep of the season series against the Utes all-time
- First Cougar team to beat Utah and Colorado in a home weekend sweep (Jan. 2022)
- First win at Stanford (66-60, Feb. 3, 2022) since 2011
- First sweep the Bay Area Schools on the road (Feb. 2022) since the 1993 season
- First Pac-12 team since 2014-15 to hold multiple conference opponents under 45 points in the same season (29 at ASU, 43 vs Colorado)
- Have allowed less than 60 points or less 11 times on the year and are 9-2 in those games.
- 309 made three-pointers the second most all-time – 909 attempts the most all-time
- program record 157 team blocks

~ Complete Release ~ (PDF)

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