Ernie Kent and Washington State beat Oregon 108-99 in OT
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) The men’s basketball teams of Washington State and Oregon have battled 288 times since 1908, but the Cougars and Ducks never staged a wilder shooter than Thursday night at Beasley Coliseum.
Washington State, with three players scoring 20 or more points, outlasted Oregon 108-99 in overtime. The combined 207 points are a series record; the 108 points are a series best for WSU; and the 108 points rank second in WSU history for a conference game.
Josh Hawkinson led the Cougars (9-7, 3-1 Pac-12) with 26 points and 13 rebounds. DaVonte Lacy added 24 points, Ike Iroegbu tied his season high with 20, and Brett Boese scored a career-high 16 for the Cougars.
”They’re playing with tremendous confidence,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said. ”Ernie (Kent, WSU’s first-year coach) is doing a great job. They’re playing so much better than they were earlier in the season.”
Altman replaced Kent at Oregon when the latter was fired by his alma mater in 2010 after a largely successful 13-year run. The winningest coach in Ducks history played down the importance of coaching against his former team.
”This was about my basketball team and the next hurdle they needed to overcome,” Kent said.
The Ducks (12-5, 2-2) had won seven straight against WSU, and 10 of 11. Joseph Young tied his career high of 32 points, and Elgin Cook scored a career-high 26 and added 10 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to offset a lax defensive effort. WSU shot 72.4 percent from the field in the first half and 58.9 percent for the game.
”Very bad (defense),” Oregon point guard Ahmaad Rorie said. ”We gave them way too many easy baskets.”
”We didn’t communicate,” Altman said.
The Cougars have won three in a row for the first time this season.
”It seems like with this team, the bigger the stage, the better we’re starting to play,” Kent said.
The game was tied at 94 at the end of regulation. The Cougars hit their first nine free throws in overtime. There were 23 lead changes and 18 ties.
Washington State led 57-52 at the half. Oregon shot 55.3 percent from the field in the half and 49.4 percent for the game.
When Oregon visited Washington State last season, the Cougars scored 17 points in the first half and shot 25 percent for the game in a 71-44 loss.
Oregon: The Ducks defeated Washington 71-44 last season in Pullman. The Cougars shot a season-low 25 percent from the field.
Washington State: Ernie Kent was 0-2 against Oregon when coaching Saint Mary’s (Calif.).
Oregon visits Washington on Sunday.
Washington State hosts Oregon State on Saturday.
EBB AND FLOW
Oregon has scored more than 100 points three times this season (in the first three games) but had been held to its two lowest totals in the two games preceding the Washington State game. The points allowed was a season high for Oregon.