SC’s guards didn’t necessarily shoot lights out from long range either but what they did do was out-quick WSU. Jared Brownridge and Brandon Clark shot 57 and 55 percent from the floor, respectively, with a goodly portion of that total from close range. They accounted for 25 of SC’s 38 first half points.
“You’re not going to beat many people giving up those kinds of numbers,” said Kent on the postgame radio show.
Kent praised the performances of guard Ike Iroegbu (pictured above, 18 points on 7-9 shooting, 4 assists, 1 turnover) and forward Josh Hawkinson (16 points, a career-high 16 rebounds, 6-12 shooting.)
But apart from those two?
“We had shots to be made, and we didn’t shoot the ball very well,” said Kent.
The Cougs trimmed the lead in the second half to five on a pair of occasions but a number of missed shots off open looks ensured they would get no closer.
No one had a tougher shooting night than DaVonte Lacy, who went 2-12 from the floor and 1-8 from downtown, finishing with nine points.
“He had some great looks,” said Kent.
On the plus side, Kent said Hawkinson “played his normal game.”
That Hawkinson’s “normal game” is basically a double-double, or near to it, speaks volumes on how far he’s come offensively through the first 10 games of his sophomore season. Hawkinson posted his fifth double-double on the year and it was the sixth time he’s collected 10 or more rebounds.
But the Cougars’ interior defense, whether going against bigs or dealing with teams like Santa Clara who spread out and then drive with quick guards, has been an eyesore this season. And oh, those turnovers.
“There are going to be turnovers -- these were unforced… those are bonehead unforced turnovers is all I can say about them… they shouldn’t happen…with the caliber of players that are here,” said Kent.
At the end of the first half, the Cougs had 0 blocks, 0 steals and 2 fast-break points.
And that, with the players WSU has, shouldn’t happen either.