Those fickle FTs: Cougs lose to UW in OT

OH THOSE fickle free throws. Five trips to the line by Washington State IN the dwindling moments of regulation and in overtime produced just five points on 5 of 10 charity stripe shooting and it proved deadly in a donnybrook of a game against rival Washington as the Huskies prevailed in overtime, 99-95.

The loss drops the Cougars to 9-6 overall and 1-2 in conference play with a trip to the Arizona schools coming up.

The struggles at the line down in crunch time mirrored broader woes. For the game the Cougs shot a humbled 62.2 percent from the line on 23 of 37 shooting. The Huskies hit 23 of 30 from the line (76.7 percent).

The loss overshadowed spectacular performances by Ike Iroegbu and Josh Hawkinson. As fate would have it, they accounted for two of those key free throw misses down the stretch, but their overall work was head turning.

Iroegbu scored a career-high 28 points on 11-of-18 shooting from the field and Hawkinson grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds and scored 21 points, giving him a school-record 10-straight doublle-doubles.

The game featured an unofficial 13 lead changes and 11 ties. The Cougars led by six at halftime but the Huskies stormed back to build a 10-point lead late in the game before the Cougs rattled off night straight to pull within one on an Iroegbu layup with 51 seconds left. After a defensive stop by the Cougs, Irogebu hit 1 of 2 free throws with 18 seconds left to tie the game at 87 and ultimately send it to overtime.

COUGFAN.COM WILL BE BACK LATER WITH A FULL REPORT AND VIDEO FROM PULLMAN.

NOTABLE NOTES:

  • WSU's shot-blocking phenom Valentine Izundu didn't play in the game, wearing a coat and tie at the end of the bench. Ernie Kent said after the game that the 7-foot center is "week to week" but he didn't elaborate.

  • WSU led 49-43 at halftime, fueled by a 24-14 advantage in rebounding and a 55 percent to 45 percent edge in shooting from the field.

  • Lamar Hurd, calling the color for the Pac--12 Networks, broke out singing his own version of Gatorade's Michael Jordan iconic commercial late in the first half after Ike Iroegbu's scored two more of his 16 points in that half. "I wanna be like Ike, like Ike, I wanna be like Ike ..." he crooned. Halftime show analyst Kevin O'Neill called Oroegbu's 7-of-9 first-half shooting from the field the best first 20 minutes by a player in the Pac-12 this season.

  • WSU shot 50.8 percent from the field to UW's 46.6 and held a 42-39 edge in rebounds. The Cougs had 12 turnovers to UW's 8.

  • Cougar senior Brett Boese, who has played sparingly this season, turned in 24 stellar minutes off the bench. He was perfect on his two shots -- both from downtown -- and played tough defense. Last season he gave the Huskies fits in a Cougar win Hec Ed.

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