3-minute lull in 1st half dooms Cougs at Utah

FOR AWHILE THERE, when D.J. Shelton scored 7 points in less than two minutes to pull his Cougars within a point of Utah, at 13-12, on Saturday, the mojo of Washington State's narrow victory over the Utes earlier in the season looked alive and well. What a difference the ensuing 3 minutes and 8 seconds made.

In that span, Utah went on 10-0 run, going up 23-12, and effectively never looked back. They built a 42-26 halftime lead, and while the Cougs played the Utes near even in the second stanza, the outcome was never in doubt. The final was 81-63, yet another desultory outcome in a season of woe for Washington State.

The Cougars are now 9-14 overall and 2-9 in the Pac-12. They'll face Cal on Wednesday and Stanford next Saturday, both in Pullman. Utah is 16-7 and 5-6.

Despite the loss, Shelton was a shining light for the Cougars, scoring 19 points and pulling down 10 rebounds for his seventh double-double of season. He also blocked a shot and dished two assists.

DaVonte Lacy was the Cougars' leading scorer, with 22 points on 7-of-15 shooting from the field, including three 3-pointers. The treys moved him into sole possession of eighth on WSU's career 3-point list with 155, passing Marcus Moore (2001-04).

Other than he and Shelton, the story was redundant for the Cougars on offense. They shot just 38.9 percent from the field to Utah's 53 percent. Notably, the Cougars were outscore 42-18 in the paint, and out-rebounded 36-29.

Six Utah players hit double figures, with Taylor Brandon setting the pace at 16 points.

NOTABLE:

  • WSU is being outscored this season by an average of 68.4 to 53.7.
  • Shelton has had at least 9 rebounds in eight of WSU's last nine games.
  • With 7 points, Junior Longrus was one point shy of his career-high. He also was one minute shy of his career high, playing 30 minutes.

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