Rocky road trip continues for men’s basketball



WSU junior guard Kwinton Hinson looks for an open teammate against the California Golden Bears on Jan. 13 at Beasley Coliseum.

JACKSON GARDNER, Evergreen reporter

With a 69-82 loss to University of Utah on Sunday, the Cougars dropped both games on a two-game road trip and dipped under a .500 winning percentage for the first time this season.

Traveling to Colorado and Utah has proven to be a tall task for WSU. Since Utah and University of Colorado joined the Pac-12, WSU has yet to record a win on the road against either school.

The Utes were in the driver’s seat from the opening tip; the only time Utah did not lead WSU was on the Cougars’ first bucket of the night, where junior forward Robert Franks tied the game up at 3-3 just around the 40 second mark.

Coming into the game, WSU and Utah were first and second in the Pac-12, respectively, in defending the three ball. The Cougars didn’t hold true to their ranking, as Utah hit 13 three-pointers to a tune of about 42 percent.

The Utes played like they were deserving of the best three-point defending team in the Pac-12. They held WSU, the nation’s leader in three-point shooting, to just nine on the night, three less than the Cougars’ per-game average.

Despite Franks and sophomore point guard Malachi Flynn both posting double-digit scoring totals, the rest of the Cougars couldn’t find their stroke. Franks and Flynn combined to go 15-23 from the field while their teammates shot a dismal 11-36.

While the Cougars’ role-players struggled, Utah found tremendous production from their bench. Senior guard Gabe Bealer checked in with 15 points and junior guard Sedrick Barefield with 14.

In total, Utah had 38 points come from their bench, while WSU only had 23.