Men’s Basketball Suffers Fifth Pac-12 Loss


WSU guard Royce Woolridge had only two points in the loss to California on Saturday. 

The WSU men’s basketball team concluded its road trip to the Bay Area with a blowout loss at California. The Cougars (8-10, 1-5) came to play yet were nowhere to be found in the second half, resulting in a 55-76 loss to the Golden Bears (14-4, 5-0).

“They (California) came out and it’s like they punched us in the mouth and we never got up,” WSU head men’s basketball coach Ken Bone said. “That’s hard to take, hard to see but again it’s a team that’s undefeated in league (play) and they’re really good on their home court.”

In the first half it was the Cougars that landed the first punch on the Golden Bears by taking an eight point lead with 11:18 left in the first half. However, California answered back with a haymaker punch and went on a 14-0 run to take a 24-18 lead with 7:55 left in the first half. Coach Bone called a couple of timeouts which helped stop the bleeding and allow the Cougars to fight back.

WSU slowed the game down and only trailed the Golden Bears by one point at the halftime buzzer.

“I thought we played really well that first half,” Bone said. “We played at our speed which we needed to do.”

The second half was a different story, as California came out early and landed the knockout punch the Cougars could not get up from.

The attack California used on the Cougars included getting the ball into the paint along with scoring the ball on transition.

“Early in the second half I thought (California) got some good opportunities in transition,” Bone said. “Our court on court defense for a long period of the time was pretty good, our transition defense was very poor.”

The California zone resulted in the Cougars scoring only two points in the first eight minutes and 22 total points in the second half.

 “It’s a good defense to run when the other team’s not making shots, so that coach is pretty good, he’s had a few wins and we didn’t trick him there,” Bone said.

After scoring zero points in the game against Stanford, WSU forward DJ Shelton scored 17 points and had 11 rebounds.

“DJ did a good job, I thought he had a good game,” Bone said. “Really proud of the way he rebounded and also he scored well,” Bone said.

WSU redshirt freshman Que Johnson again led the team in scoring with 18 points.

The Cougars will return to Pullman and host the Oregon State Beavers Wednesday night with the hope of winning their second Pac-12 game of the season.

“Now we get a chance to go back home and hopefully we can stay together,” Bone said. “You don’t want to go back home one and five, that’s for sure. But I think the character of the guys and the way they work, I think we’ll go back home and regroup and give it our best shot.”