Cougs shake off loss to Huskies, gear up for Buffs

Colorado visits Pullman on longest winning streak ever in Pac-12 play



WSU freshman forward CJ Elleby battles a UW defender for the ball Saturday against Washington at Beasley Coliseum.

SIGMUND SEROKA, Evergreen reporter

Men’s basketball, fresh off a heartbreaking 72-70 loss to rival UW this weekend, will take on Colorado on Wednesday at home.

The defeat against the Huskies (20-5, 11-1) all but secured WSU a second-to-last place finish in the Pac-12 standings this season.

The Cougars (10-15, 3-9) managed to make the game a close one and were able to close the gap between themselves and the Huskies whenever they lost the lead. At one point in the first half, WSU led by as many as 14 points.

Late in the second half, WSU and UW traded the lead back and forth but the deciding factor came off a layup from Huskies senior forward Noah Dickerson with only 25 seconds left to seal the win for the Huskies.

Head Coach Ernie Kent said his team played sloppy in the most important moments of the game.

“That veteran team kept its composure,” Kent said, “and we lost our composure, especially in the last two minutes of the game when there was things that happened that shouldn’t have happened.”

Senior forward Robert Franks said the team will try and build off the improvement they showed in the game against the Huskies throughout the rest of the season.

“It hurts right now,” he said. “It’s definitely a great learning experience for us, but it hurts.”

The Cougars focus now shifts to Colorado (16-9, 7-6), which is currently on a five-game winning streak. The Buffaloes took down Arizona State 77-73 last Wednesday in Boulder and followed that performance up with a 67-60 win over Arizona on Sunday.

When the game mattered most for the Buffaloes in the second half against the Wildcats, they managed to knock down shots to pull away. Arizona tied the game halfway through the second half and then Colorado went on a 15-3 run to put the game out of reach for the Wildcats.

Colorado Head Coach Tad Boyle said he was impressed with his team’s defensive dominance against Arizona.

“Another great team victory by the Buffaloes,” Boyle said. “I thought we played with great toughness tonight.”

A key player for the Buffaloes that led the way was sophomore guard McKinley Wright IV. He had 14 points and three rebounds and helped Colorado regained control of the game when it counted most.

“There’s not enough adjectives to describe McKinley Wright and how good he is for us and how important he is for us,” Boyle said.

The Cougars will need to contain Wright and the rest of the players on Colorado’s roster who have led the team to its longest winning streak ever in the Pac-12.

Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday at Beasley Coliseum. The game can also be seen live on Pac-12 Networks.