Nov 28, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; Washington State Cougars guard DaVont Lacy (25) has the ball stripped from him by Butler Bulldogs forward Khyle Marshall (23) in the second half of their Old Spice Classic game at HP Field House. The Butler Bulldogs beat the Washington State Cougars 76-69. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports
Washington State (2-3) played their best all-around game of this young season yet fell short of victory down the stretch of their opening round of the Old Spice Classic against Butler (5-0).
FINAL: BUTLER 76 – WSU 69
The Cougs showed improved play at the offensive end of the court. Over the first four games this season, WSU often looks lost when they have the ball. That wasn’t the case against Butler.
Regardless of the defense the Bulldogs ran, the combination of Ike Iroegbu, Royce Woolridge and DaVonté Lacy running Coach Ken Bone‘s motion offense had the Cougs in the game down to the final few possessions.
Nov 28, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; Washington State Cougars guard DaVonte Lacy (25) makers a three-point shot over Butler Bulldogs forward Andrew Chrabascz (45) in the second half of their Old Spice Classic game at HP Field House. The Butler Bulldogs beat the Washington State Cougars 76-69. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports
But with more motion and aggressive play came growing pains. WSU turned the ball over time and time again in the first half, yet were still able to stay close at the half. They trailed Butler 30-26 going into intermission knowing they could earn a win by doing a better job protecting the ball.
Unfortunately Washington State ran into a guy wearing the Bulldogs colors who was blistering hot.
Kellen Dunham seemingly couldn’t miss despite having a Cougar defender up tight on him, especially in the second half with the game in the balance. Dunham put up a tournament record 32-points on the scoreboard.
Butler proved to be a two-dimensional offensive ball club, but when one guy goes off for 32 and another, Khyle Marshall adds 30, that’s all you need.
Fewer turnovers and greater confidence marked a nice effort by WSU over the final 20-minutes. There was just too much Dunham for the Cougs this time around.
"”I’m proud the way our guys played,” Washington State coach Ken Bone said. ”We wanted to make sure we came out and played aggressive, and played with an element of toughness. I thought we showed that in a few ways. All-in-all, I think we did some good things.”"
Washington State will take on the Purdue Boilermakers in the consolation bracket of the Old Spice Classic Friday morning on ESPNU.
WASHINGTON STATE NOTES
- DaVonté Lacy led the Cougs in scoring once again filling up the stat sheet with 26-points, 2 boards and an assist. He was 4 of 8 from behind the arc.
- Redshirt freshman Que Johnson scored a career-high 11 points. His previous high was 8 points against Lamar Nov. 16.
- WSU’s .577 field goal percentage in the second half is its highest field goal percentage in a half this season, while it’s .500 overall field goal percentage marks its highest in a game this season.