Brock Motum, the Washington State Cougars (13-18) comple..."/> Brock Motum, the Washington State Cougars (13-18) comple..."/>

Cougs Complete Sweep Of LA Schools At Home


In fitting curtain call for senior Brock Motum, the Washington State Cougars (13-18) completed a sweep of the LA schools this week.

Saturday afternoon the Cougs led from opening tip to final buzzer in earning a victory over the USC Trojans (14-17) by a final of 76-51 on the hardwood of Friel Court in Pullman.

Motum and senior Mike Ladd were intent on going out winners in “their house”.

This game was the first playing time Ladd has seen in three weeks and clearly was a shadow of the real player he is. That said, it was no surprise to see the warrior giving his all in front of a supportive Zzu Cru crowd on hand.

For most, the storyline of this game was the stellar performance by Motum or the continued development of Royce Woolridge. A less popular view would be the consistent performance turned in by Coach Ken Bone.

Bone, as he has done week in and week out, drew up another game plan designed to put his team in a position to be successful. Just as they did last Wednesday evening, regardless of the five guys on the floor for Washington State, there was tremendous effort, focus and desire to win a ball game. That is all a coach can be expected to accomplish.

This win for Washington State sends them to Las Vegas and the Pac-12 Tournament with more than a desire to win. This team now knows what it takes to earn a conference victory. They are playing with confidence and poise, both critical elements to be successful next week.

Another visible component WSU used effectively to win their final two regular season games is hustling for the ball. Just as they out-rebounded UCLA, the Cougs pulled down more boards than their opponent on Saturday. They won the rebounding battle with USC, a roster which includes three 7-foot players, by a margin of 45-34. Impressive for a team lacking a true center.

The final component for Washington State which should serve them well heading into tournament play is the efficiency of key players. Not only did Motum lead all scorers with 31 points on 11-22 shooting, he logged another double-double with 10 rebounds and 2 blocks. He also played 38 minutes yet committed just 2 personal fouls for very solid entries on the stat sheet. Woolridge turned in another workman-like performance with 25 points on 7-15 shooting highlighted by 5-10 from behind the arc. Those two scorers were complemented by Dexter Kernich-Drew’s 11 point, 5 rebound, 4 assist performance. No question the main factor Motum, Woolridge and KD enjoyed another fine game was Ladd’s presence. Limited to playing on just one leg because of a nagging knee injury, Ladd dished out 6 assists and was an important cog in rotating the ball on offense to get teammates a good look at the basket.

Washington State will play the UW in the opening round of the Pac-12 tourney next Wednesday night at 8:30pm at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.




· Brock Motum led WSU with 31 points scoring 21 of his points in the first half. Brock has scored in double figures in all 31 of WSU’s games this season. He added 10 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season and second in as many games. Motum tied his career high for points in a half with his 21 in the first and set a career high for first-half points and passed Mark Hendrickson to move into fifth place on WSU’s all-time career scoring list. he now has 1,502 points and is 61 points away from Don Collins in fourth place.

· Motum’s 31 points marks the fourth-best ‘Senior Day’ performance behind J. Locklier (40 points vs. Centenary, March 2, 2002), Stuart House (35 points vs. Arizona, March 1, 1980) and Isaac Fontaine (33 points vs. UCLA, March 8, 1997)

· Woolridge tied his career high with 7 rebounds and set a personal Pac-12 high.

· WSU’s 5 turnovers are its fewest since committing just 4 against Idaho, Nov. 28…had 17-plus turnovers in each of the last two games.

· WSU swept UCLA and USC at home for the first time since the 1992-93 season.

· The Cougars’ .994 free throw percentage is their best this season when shooting more than 12 free throws.

· WSU’s 18 assists were its second-most this season.