It was going to be about the team all along in this one. I said earlier in the day that it was going to be up to the players to decide whether or not they came away victorious against OSU, and I was right.
The Beavers were coming off a home victory over the Huskies and the Cougs a heartbreaking loss to a very good Duck team in Eugene. But to me, that hardly meant anything in the way of how this would play out. Thankfully for the Cougar faithful, the team got it done in thrilling fashion.
Of all people, Royce Woolridge drilled two free throws with just seconds left to keep Oregon State at bay, as Ahmad Starks then missed a three at the buzzer to give the Cougs their first road win of the season. I say “of all people” because Royce has had more issues than success in crunch time at the free throw line. He’s not the only one.
On Wednesday it was Mike Ladd who failed to convert in the clutch, Saturday it was smooth shooting (but struggling) DaVonte Lacy who missed two that could’ve sealed it. Finally though, somebody stepped up and finished.
Ladd had 23, continuing his hot-streak, while Brock Motum poured in 20 and snatched 10 boards off the window, which is always good for this team. It seems if he isn’t at least around that 20 point mark, the Cougs struggle to win.
Coach Ken Bone continues his mastery of Oregon State, now 7-2 against the Beavs while heading up Washington State. The Cougs overall move to 11-9 (2-5) and move into 10th in the Pac-12. Not surprisingly, the only 2 teams in conference that the Cougars have beaten (Utah and OSU) are below them in the current standings.
The Cougs now get set for a home stand weekend that features the Arizona’s, as ASU comes in on Thursday and top 10 UofA comes calling Saturday evening.