WSU Basketball: Cougs survive Game 1 of CBI Finals, go for Championship Wednesday


Washington State played inspired basketball again Monday night in a thrilling Game 1 of the CBI Finals, running over Pittsburgh for most of the 2nd half and then clinging to a 67-66 victory as a Pitt 3 bounced harmlessly off the Friel Court rim as time expired. Abe Lodwick had 16 and Moore again aggressively added 14 to lead WSU against a stingy Pitt defense. The Cougs rallied after a “feel em out” first half to swing the game from a three point deficit to a twelve point lead with about 7 minutes to go, but seemingly ran directly into a brick wall as the Panthers dug deep to claw back in it and give itself two shots to win.

Tray Woodall and JJ Moore were absolutely deadly at times for Pitt, but neither one could get their mitts on the rock for the final shot with .8 left and a Lamar Patterson fadeaway came up inches short. Woodall did have the opportunity with 3.5 seconds remaining to race down the floor and attempt a ridiculous reverse layup on the run, but he was shown the door by D.J. Shelton who spiked it into the cameras on the baseline. The reject was fitting to the game, as both Shelton and Charlie Enquist played one of the best games of their careers in my opinion. Both were active and ruthless, though at times a little bit out of control, but really supplied the presence that was missing with Motum on the bench.

Our boys are now 1 win away from a CBI Championship, which has propelled a few teams over the past few years to awesome follow-up seasons consisting of NCAA and NIT births. Of course it won’t be easy, the Cougs have to supply the same energy and physicality on the road Wednesday that showed up last night in Game 2 or it’s going to be a real uphill climb in Game 3. But then again, no championship is ever easy.

Go Cougs!