Second half collapse haunts WSU in loss to Ducks

Cougs shot a stunning 77.3 percent in first half in third straight defeat



From left, senior guard Viont’e Daniels freshman forward CJ Elleby and junior point guard Jervae Robinson celebrate in the game against Cal on Jan. 17 at Beasley Coliseum. WSU won 82-59.

JOHN SPELLMAN, Evergreen reporter

WSU men’s basketball team fell 78-58 to Oregon on Sunday in Eugene after leading by four points at halftime.

The defeat was the Cougars (8-12, 1-6) third straight as the team increased their road winless streak this season to seven.

WSU was looking for its first road win against Oregon (12-8, 3-4) since January 2009, and first at the Matthew Knight Arena.

The Cougars got off to a good start in the first half, arguably playing their best half of the season. WSU shot a remarkable 77.3 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes, a mark way above its season average of 46 percent.

Despite the offensive outburst from the Cougs, they were marred by seven turnovers which kept Oregon close as WSU took a 39-35 lead into halftime.

The Cougars got a big boost from senior forward Robert Franks, who shot a perfect 6-6 from the field in the first half to score 15 points. He was also helped out by freshman forward CJ Elleby who scored 12 points in the first half.

Unfortunately, the Cougars were unable to keep their hot shooting going in the second half, giving the Ducks the chance to blow the game wide open.

WSU was only able to muster 19 points in the second half. Turnovers remained an issue for the Cougars as Oregon was able to take advantage of mistakes and dominate the final 20 minutes.

Franks only scored four points in the second half to lead WSU with 19 points in the game and Elleby was only able to add three points to his first half total. The Cougars shot a bleak 33.3 percent from the field in the second half.

The Ducks star players came alive in the second half as freshman forward Louis King scored 22 points, sophomore forward Kenny Wooten added 20 and redshirt senior forward Paul White finished with 18.

WSU will now return home to battle UCLA 7 p.m. Wednesday at Beasley Coliseum.