Cougs battle Beavs in Beasley

OSU comes to town looking for season sweep, WSU hopes to end four-game losing streak



Junior guard Jervae Robinson dribbles past Oregon junior guard Payton Pritchard on Wednesday night at Beasley Coliseum.

LEXI MCGONEGLE, Evergreen reporter

WSU men’s basketball is set to finish its last game of the regular season against Oregon State on Saturday in Beasley Coliseum.

The Cougars (11-19, 4-13) come into this matchup against the Beavers (17-12, 9-8) after they suffered a 72-61 loss against Oregon on Wednesday night.

Currently on a four-game losing streak, the Cougars will look to bounce back before the Pac-12 Tournament next week in Las Vegas.

With 17 turnovers against Oregon in Wednesday’s game, Head Coach Ernie Kent said the team needs to get back to who they really are.

“Early in the year, the areas we struggled with most were the unforced turnovers that gave easy buckets,” Kent said. “You can’t take care of the basketball when you’re not sharing the ball or looking for people.”

With Saturday as the last home game for three Cougar seniors, Kent said he expects WSU to perform with lots of energy and focus while they are on the floor.

He said he wants his team to focus on sharing the ball and running a more efficient offense.

Now holding the freshman scoring record, forward CJ Elleby said the team needs to come ready to work and not focus on what happened during the game against the Ducks.

“We know that we are right there and can play with anyone in the conference,” Elleby said.

Over the past two weeks, the Cougars have dealt with a handful of injuries including four players who missed multiple games due to concussions. Junior forward Jeff Pollard and junior guard Carter Skaggs returned to the lineup against the Ducks, and the team is hopeful senior guard Viont’e Daniels will return Saturday for his final home game.

Sophomore small forward Marvin Cannon said having multiple guys out due to injuries can throw off the whole balance of the team.

“It’s hard when we only have eight guys,” Cannon said. “We need 10 guys to perform and really do the things we need to.”

This weekend’s matchup against Oregon State is going to be a tough one. The Beavers suffered a devastating five-point loss against Washington in overtime Wednesday night and have lost four of their last five games by a combined 11 points.

OSU guard Stephen Thompson Jr. will pose a huge threat for the Cougars defense. The 6-foot-4-inch senior is averaging 15.9 points and 4.3 rebounds per game this season.

Senior forward Robert Franks will step on the Friel Court for the final time Saturday. He is averaging 21.5 points and 7.3 rebounds per contest but is coming off a disappointing performance against the Ducks where he only shot 3-13 from the field.

“We have one more game to play before we get on a plane and head to Vegas so we have some things we need to figure out,” Kent said.

Tipoff is set for noon Saturday in Beasley Coliseum. The game can be seen live on Pac-12 Networks.