WSU dads received a treat in Beasley Coliseum on Saturday afternoon, when the Cougars defeated the Eastern Washington Eagles 88-69 in their second game of the 2012-13 season.
Senior forward Brock Motum led the charge with 23 points on nine for 13 shooting, and added 10 rebounds.
“Brock has become pretty patient, lets the game come to him, and he understands that we are going to continue to try to get the ball to him,” said Ken Bone, men’s basketball head coach. “I think he handles it very well.”
The Eagles’ redshirt junior Justin Crosgile was the game’s leading scorer with 28 points. He shot 17 times from beyond the three-point line and made seven of those.
“We did try to take away threes as much as possible,” redshirt senior guard Mike Ladd said. “I think we did well in the first half. The second half, (Crosgile) went off.”
A combination of good defense and poor shooting characterized the game early. Within the first five minutes, the Cougars made three of eight shots from the field while the Eagles only managed to make one of nine. EWU finished with a shooting percentage of 34.
As EWU stayed cold, the Cougars eventually started hitting their shots. WSU posted a 48.1 shooting percentage at the end of the first half.
The Cougars led 39-20 at halftime, with Motum making the difference with 12 points and six rebounds. The senior played 19 minutes, which was tied for the most for any player at that point in the game.
The first half was won at the foul line though. The Cougars made 73 percent of their free throws, which translated to 11 extra points.
Turnovers were a problem for the Cougars throughout the game. The Eagles managed to force 15 of them, 11 of which came in the first half.
Despite the turnovers, WSU led by 31 with six minutes to play, receiving offensive contributions from almost every player on the team. Redshirt freshman guard Dominic Ballard and junior forward Keaton Hayenga were the only two Cougars who did not score, but they combined to play five minutes in the game.
The Eagles did not give up despite the large deficit. They played full-court defense at times late in the second half, and continued to shoot three-pointers to try to get back into the game. Counting Crosgile’s attempts, EWU went 15 of 39 from long distance. WSU managed to win by a sizable margin with only four of 13 three-point shooting.
“I think our guys deserve a lot of credit for the job they did the first 28 to 30 minutes of the game, defending the three-point line,” Bone said. “But we definitely let down near the end and Eastern showed what they’re capable of doing. Those kids can really shoot and they’re a better team than they showed tonight.”
The Cougars next play Utah Valley in Pullman at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. That game will be the last in the three-game home stand before the team travels to play Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif.