Cougars finish sixth in the Cayman Islands Classic

WSU wins one game and loses two games in tournament

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Cougars finish sixth in the Cayman Islands Classic

Junior guard Isaac Bonton dribbles against Omaha on Nov. 21 at Beasley Coliseum.

Junior guard Isaac Bonton dribbles against Omaha on Nov. 21 at Beasley Coliseum.

OLIVER MCKENNA | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

Junior guard Isaac Bonton dribbles against Omaha on Nov. 21 at Beasley Coliseum.

OLIVER MCKENNA | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

OLIVER MCKENNA | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

Junior guard Isaac Bonton dribbles against Omaha on Nov. 21 at Beasley Coliseum.

RYAN ROOT, Evergreen reporter

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The 2019 Cayman Islands Classic hosted the WSU men’s basketball team (3-4, 0-0) and seven other colleges. The Cougars finished in sixth place across three games with a tournament record of 1-2.

In the first round, the Nebraska Cornhuskers defeated WSU 82-71 after sophomore forward CJ Elleby’s 27-point performance. Despite being ahead 37-34 at the half, WSU’s field goal percentage dropped from 44 percent to 31 percent and allowed Nebraska to come back. Nebraska shot 64 percent in the second half.

WSU defeated Old Dominion University in the next consolation round. Four different Cougars scored in the double digits, including Elleby, senior forward Jeff Pollard, junior guard Marvin Cannon, and senior guard Jervae Robinson.

Cannon led the WSU bench with his 14 points and led the team in rebounding with seven rebounds. Robinson also scored 10 points off the bench. Cannon and Robinson were the only two bench scorers for WSU.

“We were just playing together, playing smart,” Cannon said during the post-game presser. “It felt great.”

The Cougars went on to the second consolation round to face Colorado State University. WSU lost 79-69 after allowing a season high in opponent field goal percentage with 54 percent.

Pollard co-led the team in scoring with 16 points alongside Elleby. Tying a career high, this is the first time in Pollard’s career that he led the team in scoring.

“We really got into a rhythm out there,” Pollard said during a press conference after facing Colorado State. However, Pollard said that the team’s sixth place finish was not ideal to their game plan.

Head coach Kyle Smith said a couple of takeaways from the tournament were that the team kept competing in each round and that the team is growing together.

“1-2 is not the result we wanted,” Smith said in his presser after facing Colorado State. “We got to get better as we’re going to see more [teams] like that.”

Elleby finished the tournament averaging 21.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. He was named to the All-Tournament team for his efforts.

WSU’s next men’s basketball game is against the Idaho Vandals at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow, Idaho.