Once again, the Cougars had very few bright spots in the second game of the season, shooting 27-of-68 from the field and 10-of-30 from behind the arc, but somehow, WSU pulled out a 71-68 victory over the Eastern Washington Eagles.
The offensive production mostly came from sophomore shooting guard Noah Williams, who had 19 points on seven of 13 shooting from the field, and three of four from behind the arc. He paired his best scoring game with eight rebounds and three assists.
While Eastern Washington only had seven eligible players due to five EWU players being in COVID protocol, the Eagles still show 41 percent from the field, while only shooting 31 percent from behind the arc.
Another defensive stand in the remaining seconds by Williams forcing a turnover sealed the game for the Cougars’ second win. The WSU defense forced 14 total turnovers, including the game-sealing one.
Senior point guard Issac Bonton struggled again from the field, shooting three of 16 from the field, two of six from three point range and finished with 11 points. He also collected four rebounds and a couple of assists in the contest.
The Cougars had to rely on sophomore center Volodymyr Markovetskyy to finish the game after freshman center Efe Abogidi fouled out with eight minutes to go, and contributed with two points coming late.
Freshman shooting guard T.J. Bamba contributed well of the bench, making four of five shots from the field for nine points, also collecting six boards. Getting four personal fouls limited his minutes in the game.
The Cougars struggled again shooting, something head coach Kyle Smith wanted to fix after the season opener against Texas Southern. Another bad shooting night may result in shooting inefficiency throughout the season, unless WSU can fix their shot selections and finishing more in the mid-range.
The next game for the Cougars comes against Oregon State University on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in Beasley. Fans will not be allowed in attendance and the game can be seen on the Pac-12 Network.
(Photos by: Bob Hubner – WSU Athletics)