Jan 26, 2014; Pullman, WA, USA; Oregon Ducks guard Jason Calliste (12) runs between Washington State Cougars guard Royce Woolridge (22) and Washington State Cougars forward D.J. Shelton (23) during the first half at Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
Washington State (8-12, 1-7 Pac-12) hosted the Oregon Ducks (14-5, 2-5 Pac-12) in a conference contest Sunday evening with a good opportunity to post a win. After all, the Ducks had been struggling mightily since hitting the Pac-12 portion of their schedule, losing five of their first six conference games. As it turned out, the Cougs never mounted much of a challenge.
FINAL: Oregon 71 – WSU 44
Neither team had much luck putting the ball through the hoop over the course of the first 10-minutes of play when Jason Calliste knocked down a jumper to put the Ducks up 13-9.
If you were jumping to the conclusion this game was going to be a low scoring affair based on the sluggish start, you would have been half right.
Oregon’s game plan allowed WSU to continue their strategy of simply passing the ball around the perimeter for the first 20-seconds of a possession before getting into any set plays.
Once again, the Cougs struggled to get good shots once they began trying to set teammates up with the shot clock running down. That slow play scheme translated into a reduction in the number of shot attempts for both ball clubs. Washington State made a total of 4 buckets in the entire first half of play. Three of those were from beyond the arc. Let me do the math for you. The Cougs made just one 2-point basket in the opening 20-minutes.
By the time halftime rolled around, Oregon out-hustled WSU in every phase of the game to take a 30-17 advantage into the locker room. The only area of play the Cougs influenced was the tempo, which should have worked to their advantage. It didn’t.
The pace of the game picked up to open the second half. Before the Cougs knew what hit them, they fell behind 39-19 in the first four minutes.
Clearly Oregon wasn’t going to lose yet another Pac-12 game this time around. They were led by the white hot shooting of Calliste who went 8-10 from the field for a game high 20-points in just 24-minutes on the court.
Duplicating their offensive futility in the first half, WSU managed to sink just one 2-point basket in the second half. Reduced to hoisting up shots from beyond the arc, WSU tried 26 3-pointers while attempting just 14 from midrange or in the paint.
Que Johnson led the Cougs on the scoreboard with 9-points on three treys. He also was the top rebounder for WSU with 5 boards. For the second time this month, no Washington State player reached double-digits in scoring.
Coach Ken Bone will extra time to prepare for cross-state rival Washington this coming week. The Cougs will host the Huskies Saturday afternoon with a 3pm tipoff scheduled at Beasley Coliseum.
* All Coug’d Up has action images from the WSU/Oregon game to share with you. Just click the ‘Next’ button to check them out.