Cougars nearly upset conference leading Huskies

UW outscores WSU 36-25 in second half to secure road victory



Freshman forward CJ Elleby makes a pass during the game against the Huskies on Saturday night at Beasley Coliseum. The game resulted in a 72-70 loss for the Cougars.

JOHN SPELLMAN, Evergreen reporter

When WSU and UW meet in any sport, there is always going to be a lot of excitement. Saturday evening was no different in an energetic Beasley Coliseum as men’s basketball went toe-to-toe with the Huskies before falling 72-70.

“That was by far the best crowd I have seen here [at Beasley Coliseum] as a coach, and even working with the Pac-12 Network when I came here to do games,” Head Coach Ernie Kent said. “The energy was incredible.”

Sophomore small forward Marvin Cannon led the way for the Cougars (10-15, 3-9) scoring a career-high 25 points but it wasn’t enough as the Huskies (20-5, 11-1) outscored WSU 36-25 in the second half after trailing by nine at halftime.

The start of the game was tough for the two teams as both squads faced early foul struggles. Despite this, the Cougars got off to a scorching start on offense and dominated UW’s famed zone defense to take an early 24-15 lead.

WSU shot as high as 68 percent from the field in the first half and built a lead as large as 14 points.

The Huskies finished the half strong, cutting the lead down to seven before the Cougars took a 45-36 advantage into halftime on a jump shot from junior guard Jervae Robinson as the buzzer sounded.

The man who carried the WSU offense in the first half was Cannon, scoring a team-high 18 points in the first half.

Kent needed his team to keep up their strong play going into the second half if the Cougars were going to pull off a major upset over the Pac-12’s best team.

The Huskies came out swinging in the second half, cutting the lead down to four before Cannon shook the rim a highlight-reel dunk.

Washington kept up the pressure, coming all the way back to tie the score at 54 points with just over 10 minutes remaining in the game.

Shortly after, the Huskies were able to take a brief one-point lead, their first advantage since early in the first half.

However, the Cougars were able to respond with back-to-back three pointers from senior forward Robert Franks to take a one-point lead of their own.

The Huskies were able to regain the lead before Franks hit a huge three to make it 67-65 in favor of the Cougars with 2:46 left.

UW sophomore guard Jaylen Nowell and senior forward Noah Dickerson would take over from there scoring the Huskies next seven points to take a five-point lead with 7 seconds remaining.

Franks hit a three-pointer with under a second remaining, but it was too late as WSU fell 72-70.

Even though the Cougs lost, they got a phenomenal performance from Cannon. He said he didn’t take a different approach into this matchup with the Huskies.

“I just give it my all every game… I just come out play hard, play my game and tonight my shot felt good,” Cannon said.

Nowell finished with 20 points for the Huskies and Dickerson added 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Franks had 16 points with four three-pointers and freshman forward CJ Elleby struggled scoring only five points in the game. The Cougars had 19 turnovers in the game and Elleby and Franks each turned the ball over five times.

WSU now turns its attention to Colorado who comes to Beasley Coliseum 7 p.m. Wednesday. The game can also be seen live on Pac-12 Networks.