Overtime heartbreak; Cougs drop close contest to Golden Bears

Evan Baron | Evergreen Men's Basketball reporter

With five seconds remaining in overtime, WSU freshman guard Ike Iroegbu stepped to the free throw line with his team down by three points to the California Golden Bears.

Iroegbu hit the first free throw and then intentionally missed the second with the hope of grabbing an offensive rebound.

However, California redshirt senior guard Justin Cobbs grabbed the ball, raced down the floor, and dunked the ball. The buzzer sounded and the Cougars (9-15, 2-10) fell to the Golden Bears (16-8, 7-4) by a score of 76-80.

WSU men’s basketball Head Coach Ken Bone went with a different game plan by starting Iroegbu at the point guard position instead of WSU redshirt junior guard Royce Woolridge. It seemed as if Bone’s strategy worked as the Cougars’ edged out to a nine point lead in the first eight minutes of the game.

“I’m proud of the way our guys battled and fought and played with a lot of energy and passion,” Bone said.

However, the Golden Bears fed the ball to their post players, which allowed them to get back into the ball game. California junior forward David Kravish did not pass up the opportunity and scored 10 points in the first half. The Golden Bears’ senior forward Richard Solomon scored nine points in the first half as well.

The play of the California big men helped the team take nine points at the halfway mark against the Cougars.

In the second half the Cougars found their answer on offense. The Cougars’ captain junior guard DaVonte Lacy opened up the half scoring the Cougars’ first nine points. The shooting of Lacy helped cut the deficit to one point with 7:30 left to play in the game.

WSU would eventually tie the game at 63 with 2:40 left to play in the game. Cobbs had the opportunity to hit the game winning shot, but he missed the jumper and the game went into overtime.

After scoring zero points in the first half, Cobbs scored 22 points during the second half and overtime, which helped the Golden Bears achieve victory.

Lacy scored a career-high 39 points in the loss to California, and redshirt senior forward D.J. Shelton finished the game scoring 18 points and grabbed 19 rebounds.

“I think we competed well, we were down I think about ten or nine points, fought back and took the lead and the last eight minutes we played real well,” Lacy said. “Cal’s just a really good team.”

The Cougars will take on the Stanford Cardinal (15-8, 6-5) at 4 p.m. on Saturday.