The WSU Cougars blew out the Utah Valley Wolverines 72-49 on Wednesday night in front of a small crowd in Beasley Coliseum.
Senior forward Brock Motum led the Cougars in scoring once again w David Hawbaker/The Daily Evergreen
ith 15 points. Sophomore guard DaVonté Lacy added 11 points, four rebounds and six assists. Head Co
ach Ken Bone said he was pleased with how the team played.
“We’re in a situation where we’re just trying to get better and better,” Bone said. “It does not matter who we are playing. It’s about us trying to get better right now going into Pac-12 play. And so I felt like we respected Utah Valley and we went out and played a hard game, whether it was them or anybody else.”
Early foul trouble and a large lead kept Motum on the bench for extended periods of time in the first half, as the senior got tagged with two fouls in the first 10 minutes of the game.
Despite playing without Motum for much of the first half, the Cougars managed to build a 45-22 lead at halftime. Lacy had the hot hand early, scoring 11 points for the Cougars on four-of-five shooting, including a three-for-four clip from beyond the arc.
Overall, the Cougars attempted more than half their shots from three-point range. Even so, WSU shot 43.8 percent from three-point range in the first half.
Redshirt senior guard Mike Ladd had a four-point play midway throug
h the first half when he was fouled after draining a long three-pointer.
In the second half, Motum re-entered the game without missing a beat. He surpassed Lacy in scoring early in the second half, which helped combat the points in the paint Utah Valley began to score. Motum said the Cougars came out a little slow in the second half, but they finished strong.
“I’m happy to watch but at the same time, I want to be a part of the action,” Motum said. “It’s not like I just sit there and relax and become content, but I like to try to be in the
game as anyone else on the team would.”
Redshirt sophomore guard Dexter Kernich-Drew also contributed some scoring off the bench, hitting a three in the second half and a scoring fast-break dunk.
“Dexter did a great job coming off the bench and hitting shots,” Bone said. “I thought it was a good team effort, and so I thought our bench was good tonight.”
With a little more than eight minutes remaining in the game, Lacy assisted Ladd on an alley-oop play on a turnover, putting the Cougars on top by 30 points. WSU maintained that margin over the Wolverines for about a minute and a half.
Bone kept his starters on the court until five minutes remained in the second half. At that point, the score was 70-40.
The players all agreed it will be important to take one game at a time as they move forward in the season and go on the road for the first time. After the Cougars play Pepperdine, they will travel to Kansas City, Mo., to play against Kansas in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic.