USATodaySports/Wayrynen

Ernie Kent on latest WSU loss: We guarded ourselves

WASHINGTON STATE dribbled out the clock on its last possession at Oregon State on Sunday, not bothering to put up a final shot in the 69-49 loss. The energy level on the Cougs’ final possession was emblematic of the game as a whole.

“I didn’t think we played with a lot of energy and therefore I felt we left a lot of offense on the floor, particularly in the first half where it did not need to be a 10-point game,” Cougar coach Ernie Kent told Matt Chazanow on the postgame radio show.

The Cougs trailed 35-25 at the break and cut the lead to seven early in the second half. But WSU didn’t seize momentum or the opportunities, Kent said.

“We guarded ourselves a lot,” he said. 

The loss was the Cougars’ 15th straight, matching the 15-game skid of 1999-2000. It's the longest slide since the 1989-90 season when the Cougs piled up 18 in a row.

“They haven’t figured out how to win yet…and at some point they need to figure it out,” said Kent.  “They’ve got to figure out how to win and once they do, it will become contagious and then it will skyrocket the other way.”

Forward Josh Hawkinson led the Cougs with 14 points and 9 rebounds. Point guard Charles Callison added 13. Ike Iroegbu dished 7 assists but scored only 5 points. Que Johnson scored 7 points on 3 of 12 shooting, having scored in double figures the previous five games.

Callison was injured at the end of the game but Kent said it wasn’t serious with the WSU point guard bumping knees with someone.

Neither Renard Suggs nor Ny Redding saw playing time. Neither saw playing time at Oregon in the Cougs' previous game.

Next up: WSU at UW, Wednesday at 8 p.m. in the regular-season finale. The game will be broadcast on ESPN U.

NOTABLE NOTES:
In nine of the past 10 games, WSU has lost by at least 10 points.

The Cougars will open Pac-12 tournament play in Las Vegas on March 9 at 2:30 p.m. against the No. 5 seed.


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