The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Through the lens(es): WSU MBB wins close battle with EWU

Myles Rice leads way with 28-point explosion
The+WSU+men%E2%80%99s+basketball+team+prepares+for+player+introductions+before+an+NCAA+men%E2%80%99s+basketball+game+against+Eastern+Washington%2C+Nov.+27%2C+2023%2C+in+Pullman%2C+Wash.
COLE QUINN
The WSU men’s basketball team prepares for player introductions before an NCAA men’s basketball game against Eastern Washington, Nov. 27, 2023, in Pullman, Wash.

On Monday, the Cougs improved to 5-1 on the young season with an 82-72 victory over Eastern Washington (1-5). Despite the Eagles coming in with just one win, they put up a huge fight against the favored Cougs. WSU started Myles Rice, Joseph Yesufu, Isaac Jones, Andrej Jakimovski and Oscar Cluff against the Eagles, a sight fans will likely be seeing much more of in the coming games.

Quickly, the Cougs jumped out to a 11-6 lead, capitalized by a Rueben Chinyelu dunk, who checked in after Cluff picked up his first personal foul within the first two minutes of the game.

Whistles were a constant sound throughout the game, as both teams committed 21 personal fouls, the combined 42 feeling egregious. Neither head coach agreed with many of the calls, with head coach Kyle Smith visibly reacting several times throughout the game.

BRANDON WILLMAN
WSU head coach Kyle Smith reacts as his team commits one of several fouls throughout the team’s 82-72 win over EWU, Nov. 27, in Pullman, Wash.

After the first half of play, the Cougs held a 40-32 lead, thanks in large part to Rice’s performance. He had 15 points in the first half, shooting a perfect 5-for-5 from beyond the arc, being the high-efficiency scorer the team needed to get the offense going. He finished the game with 28 points, shooting 9-for-15 from the field and 6-for-8 from the the three-point line.

Due to the 42 fouls, both teams had ample opportunities at the free-throw line, something EWU capitalized on at a far higher rate. The Eagles shot 23 free throws, closely followed by the 22 shots by the Cougs. In the first half, WSU shot a pretty bad 2-for-7 from the charity stripe but managed to finish 16-of-22.

On the other end, EWU shot a majority of their attempts in the first half. On 16 attempts, they nailed 13 of them. But they finished shooting 18-of-23.

Along with Rice, four WSU players finished in double-digits for scoring.

Cluff finished second on the team with 12 points, adding seven rebounds in his 25 minutes of action. He shared the love with his boards, getting four on the offensive glass and three defensively.

COLE QUINN
WSU forward Oscar Cluff drives to the basket during an NCAA men’s basketball game against Eastern Washington, Nov. 27, 2023, in Pullman, Wash.

Chinyelu and Jakimovski both finished with 11 points against the Eagles, with Chinyelu getting his shooting a perfect 5-of-5 from the field and Jakimovski struggling as he only shot 3-of-12 from the field, but he did make two triples. Chinyelu also only played in 11 minutes of action on the court, the second lowest of any player to find playing time.

BRANDON WILLMAN
Rueben Chinyelu grabs a rebound, one of five he had for the Cougs in their win over EWU, Nov. 27, in Pullman, Wash.

Finally, Jones got a perfect 10 points, also adding seven rebounds of his own in 36 minutes of action.

BRANDON WILLMAN
Isaac Jones looks to pass out of a double team late in the second half of the Cougs 82-72 win over EWU, Nov. 27, in Pullman, Wash.

Improving to 5-1, WSU will prep for their upcoming matchup with Portland State at 2 p.m. Saturday in Beasley Coliseum.

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About the Contributors
BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor
Brandon Willman is a junior multimedia journalism student from Vancouver, Washington. He started working as a sportswriter for the Daily Evergreen in Fall 2022 and worked as copy editor in spring 2023. Brandon was elected to be the Editor-in-chief starting in summer 2023 and served in the position from May 2023 to February 2023 before transitioning to the role of multimedia editor. He enjoys watching sports, backpacking, and watching horror movies.
COLE QUINN, Evergreen Sports Photographer
Cole Quinn is a photographer and columnist for the Daily Evergreen. Cole primarily shoots sports for the Daily Evergreen and writes album reviews in his spare time. Cole is a junior broadcast production major and sports communication minor from Snoqualmie, Washington. Cole started working for the Evergreen in the fall of 2020 as a photographer. Cole was the Photo Editor during his sophomore year and Deputy Photo Editor for the fall 2022 semester.