The Daily Evergreen

Men’s basketball nearly notches first conference win

With loss to Huskies, Cougars fall to 0-3 in conference play

Guard+Malachi+Flynn+throws+a+pass+that+is+pushed+out+of+bounds+by+a+UI+defender+on+Dec.+6+at+the+Kibbie+Dome.
Guard Malachi Flynn throws a pass that is pushed out of bounds by a UI defender on Dec. 6 at the Kibbie Dome.

Guard Malachi Flynn throws a pass that is pushed out of bounds by a UI defender on Dec. 6 at the Kibbie Dome.

Ryan Pugh | Daily Evergreen File

Ryan Pugh | Daily Evergreen File

Guard Malachi Flynn throws a pass that is pushed out of bounds by a UI defender on Dec. 6 at the Kibbie Dome.

DYLAN GREENE, Evergreen sports editor

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Men’s basketball, seeking revenge for the football team’s defeat to the University of Washington in the Apple Cup, fell just short in a 70-65 loss to the Huskies on Saturday in Beasley Coliseum.

WSU Head Coach Ernie Kent said his team didn’t execute the way he would have liked late in the game.

“There came a point in time in the game where we needed to dig our heels in and make plays,” Kent said. “Tough plays, defensive stops, and we were not able to get it done.”

Both teams started fast with WSU (8-7, 0-3) leading 16-10 just over five minutes into the game. The Cougars made six of their nine attempted shots from the field and knocked down four three-pointers during that time span.

Then both teams slowed down and entered scoring slumps. WSU went over six minutes without scoring a single point and UW (12-4, 2-1) went scoreless for more than four and a half minutes.

The Huskies took a 23-22 lead with six minutes remaining in the first half, but the Cougars went on an 8-0 run to regain control of the game with one-minute remaining in the half. UW responded with two late layups to cut into the lead and bring the score to 30-27 WSU at halftime.

Both teams were sloppy with the ball in the first 20 minutes — WSU had 14 turnovers and UW gave the ball away nine times. The Cougars finished the game with 23 turnovers.

Junior guard Viont’e Daniels said the Huskies weren’t the reason the team turned the ball over so many times.

“It was nothing that they were doing,” Daniels said. “It was just us being hesitant with the ball and just mental lapses that cost us the game.”

Daniels led the Cougs in scoring in the first half with 10 points, making four of his six attempted shots and two three-pointers. He finished the game with 13 points.

WSU maintained the lead in the second half until the Huskies went on a 12-4 run to take the lead with just over three minutes remaining in the game. The Cougars quickly responded with a two-point jumper from junior forward Robert Franks and a layup from sophomore forward Jeff Pollard to take a 65-62 lead with two minutes remaining.

UW regained control of the game for good 32 seconds later and finished the game on an 8-0 run to steal the victory from the Cougars.

Daniels said the team got too comfortable when its lead grew to 10 in the second half, which allowed the Huskies to climb back in the game.

“We gave all the effort, this is a rivalry game,” Daniels said. “I think once we got up, that effort slipped, which is why the lead slipped. So we’ve just got to continue working on doing it for 40 minutes instead of just spurts.”

Franks finished with a game-high 22 points and added 12 rebounds, two assists and three blocks. Redshirt senior Drick Bernstine scored 10 points, shooting 50 percent from the field.

Three Huskies scored 15 or more points in the game: Junior guard David Crisp had 15, freshman guard Jaylen Nowell added 15 and junior guard Matisse Thybulle finished with 17.

WSU has now lost seven of its last nine games after starting the season 6-0.

The Cougars return to the court to take on Stanford University at 6 p.m. Thursday in Beasley Coliseum.

About the Writer
DYLAN GREENE, Evergreen Editor-in-Chief

Dylan Greene is a journalism and media production major from Stanwood. He started as the football beat reporter in the fall of 2017 and midway through...

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Men’s basketball nearly notches first conference win