Cougs go long but come up short in OT vs. Cal

PULLMAN – In the aftermath of Wednesday's game against California, Ken Bone shared the plan he devised before the contest: get the ball inside the paint. It didn't work, as the Cougars were forced to rely on long shots and fell to the Golden Bears 80-76 in overtime despite hitting a season-high 13 3-pointers.

Junior guard DaVonté Lacy continued to carry the bulk of the offensive load for Washington State (9-15, 2-10), shooting more than half of the team's points. His 51.3 percent of scoring resulted in his second career-high point total: 39 points on 10-of-20 shooting from the field and 8 of 15 from afar. He was also a perfect 11 for 11 from the line.

"My teammates did a great job of finding me, putting the ball on time, on target," said Lacy, who opened the second half with four triples on his way to 26 second-half points. "DJ (Shelton) set some really good screens, Jordan (Railey) set some really good screens and my teammates just found me and I just knocked down some shots."

Bone said Lacy's shooting paved the way for other players to find their stroke from long range, as well.

"It really helps because the focus is on DaVonté and it frees things up for other guys," Bone said. "I thought it might help Que (Johnson), but Dexter (Kernich-Drew) played pretty well. He played pretty good defense … and did a decent job on offense, too."

Kernich-Drew hit a pair of 3-pointers and finished the game with six points and two assists in 30 minutes off the bench.

Inserted into the starting lineup was Ike Iroegbu who handled the point guard duties in place of the struggling Royce Woolridge.

With five seconds to play and WSU down three, California (16-8, 7-4) elected to foul Iroegbu just as he crossed half-court. After hitting the first free throw, Bone said he instructed Iroegbu to intentionally miss the second. Cal corralled the rebound and sent a lead pass up to Justin Cobbs, who dunked in at the buzzer, finalizing the Cougars' third-straight conference loss.

"We wanted to miss that one and try to tip it out," Bone said. "It was a good miss, a good hard miss. We had DaVonté over there, but it didn't go to the right spot or else it would've be interesting to see if he would've buried it, because he was there alone."

Still, it was one of the better scoring nights for the Cougars, whose 76 points were a season high in conference play. The team shot 46.4 percent from the field, 40.4 from the three and 84 percent from the foul line.

"We played well, we played up to their level," Shelton said. "Our energy was great, we did some good things; they just did some things better. These are the game we have to learn from, come March that'll help us get better."

The loss spoiled another superb performance for Shelton, who recorded his eighth double-double of the season with 18 points, a career-high 19 rebounds, three assists and a block.

"It's real tough and frustrating," he said. "It picks your brain and makes you think about all the little things you could have did. It was just a few possession game so anything we did wrong, we could've did right and that would've changed the game, so that bugs us."

Washington State next faces Stanford (15-8, 6-5) at 4 p.m. Saturday.

  • Attendance was announced at 1,913.

  • Cal held advantages in points in the paint, 34-12, second-chance points 10-6, and out-rebounded WSU 38-29.

  • Junior Longrus started for the third-straight game but played just 14 minutes. Railey played 28 minutes and finished the game with two blocks.

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