SAY THIS ABOUT Washington State senior Abe Lodwick: He saved the best for last. If the bomber from Bend continues the torrid pace he's established, both shooting and rebounding, since the Cougars entered the College Basketball Invitational four wins ago then the oddsmakers who have installed Pitt as a 9 1/2-point favorite today in Game 2 of the championship series figure to look silly.
In the four CBI games, Lodwick
is averaging 16.3 points and 7 rebounds per game.
For perspective on that level of productivity, consider that prior to the CBI his season averages were 5.2 points and 3.8 rebounds per outing.
The raw numbers from his post-season profligacy are head turning: 65 points, 28 rebounds and 15-of-24 accuracy from beyond the arc.
In the Cougars' 67-66 Game 1 win over the Panthers in Pullman on Monday, Lodwick scored 16, grabbed 7 rebounds and hit 4-of-5 from downtown.
As they like to say in sports, he's turned his game up a notch. And good thing, because WSU leading scorer and rebounder Brock Motum is expected to remain sidelined with the right ankle he sprained early on against Oregon State last week.
Tip off today in the Petersen Events Center in Pittsburgh is at 4 p.m. Pacific Time, with TV coverage on HDNet.
The Cougars are 19-16 this season and the Panthers 20-17. WSU was a 1-point favorite by oddsmakers in Monday's game in Pullman.
Prior to Monday, the Cougs and Panthers had played just once, in the title game of the 2008 Legends Classic in Newark. Pitt, ranked No. 4 in the nation, won 57-43. Lodwick and Marcus Capers are the only remaining Cougars on the roster that played in that game. Charlie Enquist was also on the roster, but did not play.
Against current Big East schools, WSU is 8-7 all-time. That includes a 2008 NCAA Tournament second-round win over Notre Dame.
This marks the 12th postseason appearance (and fifth in the last six years) for Washington State. The Cougars are 17-11 all-time in postseason play. Last season the Cougars reached the semifinals of the National Invitation Tournament. WSU has made six NCAA Tournaments (going 6-6) and five NITs (7-5).