Cougs host Weber State

WSU welcomes Wildcats to Beasley; first meeting ever between programs



WSU guard Noah Williams (24) dribbles the ball toward the basket during a college basketball game against the University of Southern California at Beasley Coliseum, Saturday in Pullman.

TOM ABBOTT, Evergreen sports editor

The Cougar men’s basketball team (6-2) face off against the Weber State Wildcats (8-0) at 7 p.m. tonight in Beasley Coliseum. 

WSU comes into the nonconference matchup after a tough 63-61 loss against No. 16 USC. The Cougars led for most of the game but fell short as the clock ran out. 

Weber State is off to a flawless start this season, winning seven of their eight victories leading by more than 10 points. In their last game against Portland State, the Wildcats won 80-69. 

Guard Seikou Sisoho Jawara and forward Dillon Jones led Weber State to victory, playing 37 minutes each. Sisoho Jawara shot well from behind the arc, going 5-10. Because of his three-point shots, Sishoho scored the most on the team, with 17 points.

Jones had a double-double performance in the win, dominating close to the rim with 14 rebounds and ten points.

“[They are] a really good team from what I’ve watched,” WSU head coach Kyle Smith said. “Just kind of a strong, older veteran group playing really well.”

WSU has three players averaging more than 10 points per game. Noah Williams leads the Cougs with 13.6 ppg, followed by Michael Flowers with 13 ppg and Tyrell Roberts with 11.3 ppg.

Williams scored 12 points against USC but failed to make his last two shots. Those last two shots likely would have been the deciding factor in the Pac-12 matchup.

So far this season, WSU averages 12 turnovers per game. Weber State looks to increase that statistic with their ability to force 18 turnovers per game this season.

“They do a lot of switching,” Smith said. “They got a lot of guys that can help and recover with their length and quickness.”

WSU runs a nine-man rotation on the court. The Cougars’ depth will be put to the test against the six-man rotation run by Weber State. All players in Crimson and Gray need to be ready to take on the consistent Wildcats players if they want to win at home. 

Wildcats guard Koby McEwen is one of the consistent players WSU will have to contain. McEwen leads the team with an impressive 16.8 points per game. He had somewhat of a slow game for his standards against Portland State, putting up 12 points. 

McEwen is a threat both from close range and outside the arc, so WSU guard TJ Bamba will likely be the one trying to stop McEwen’s offensive threat. Bamba is an aggressive defender and sacrifices his body when needed. He helps the Cougs on offense as well, putting up 7.3 points per game so far this season.

“I felt like he played really good, just really good defensively,” Smith said about Bamba’s performance against USC. “It’d be nice having that six-five, 220-pound perimeter guy that could really lock up on the perimeter, and he scores too.”

Weber State is ranked as the No. 46 team in D-1 basketball, and Washington State is ranked No. 61, according to

Although Weber State is ranked as a better team, WSU has a 75.2 percent chance of winning the home game, according to ESPN’s Basketball Power Index.