WSU MBB: Pitt Beats Washington State to Force CBI Game 3


A lot of times the season of any team can come down to one word: Irony. Wednesday night defined that term for Washington State. The Cougs had their chances, they made their move and they even caught a break taking a 6 point deficit to 2 in a five second span. But then they dropped the ball, literally. After an incredible 2nd half, maybe the best of his career, Reggie Moore had piled up 18 points and done it all. He had taken every Pitt defender to the hole and drawn a foul or scooped up a score to the tune of 16 second half points, he had hit most of the free throws, he had guarded closely and forced a few turnovers and basically he had single handedly changed and well, taken over the game. Where has this Reggie been all season? It started with Oregon State and continued in Game 1 and I love it! It’s the Reggie we’ve been waiting for. Unfortunately on Wednesday night though, he made a great read on a crucial inbounds pass and had a chance to actually steal both the ball and the game from the Panthers with 4 seconds to go but dropped it, ironically enough, out of bounds.

Oh irony, how we hate you! I mean, don’t lose all hope, we still have a chance to steal it away on Friday. But man, does Friday sound more uncertain now then it did on Monday or is that just me? When you have 1 of 2 to win, you figure a loss is no big deal, but Pittsburgh held WSU under 50 points (which is never a great number as a Cougar fan or player for that matter) and did it with their typical, physical, push ’em around home court play, which bothers me going into the final game. Lodwick was hounded all night (mostly by the rim while building a house), Charlie was once again the bendable one instead of the aggressive beast that we saw in Game 1, Shelton looked like a freshman in his first month of the season and the collective amount of missed layups and bunnies was just sickening. The grinding part is that Capers made 2 jumpers (for the first time in his career perhaps) and was flying for ridiculous blocks, Mike Ladd was busting all over the court with his most explosive effort to date and Dexter Kernich-Drew played pretty poised. But again ironically enough, that’s kinda how the season has been in the hot/cold department. See: California at home/Arizona in Tucson and UW first half/UW second half, both games.

Yet we still had the chance, and while it hurts to come up short the way we did, the fact is that Pitt didn’t beat us as much as we lost the game. Pitt played hard on the court, but off of it they didn’t seem to care much. In fact with less than a minute to go and up 2… let me repeat that for you: with less then 1 minute to go and up by 2 points, there was a substitution and not one Panther on the sideline stood up or even greeted their teammate with so much as a smile on his way to the bench. I couldn’t decide if this is the most selfish team in college basketball or the least emotional, but I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen a team that is on the verge of a win sit lifelessly as a teammate comes off the floor and that is probably one of the  very reasons why they are playing us, along with the fact that they just aren’t as good as normal, which is a little depressing that we are down here but I’ll live with what it is.

Anyway, we just gotta move on and step up for 1 game. If Reggie can be “That Reggie” to start the game Friday, I don’t think Pitt will be able to push us around like they did to end game 1 and to start game 2. I mention Reggie because he holds the cards in the matchup as the X-factor and if he attacks all game it’ll be our game to lose, though that has happened before and no matter how many Regg scores, 49 team points won’t get it done. So the whole team is on call!

One up, one down, one remains.

Go Cougs!