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Washington St., Washington look to fix woes in rivalry clash


Washington State and Washington hope having the past week off gave them time to fix their problems so they can build some much-needed momentum when they meet on Saturday in Pullman, Wash.

The Cougars (10-15, 5-9 Pac-12) have dropped five of their past six games after a 76-52 setback at then-No. 9 UCLA on Feb. 4.

The Huskies (13-12, 5-9) are coming off an 80-74 loss at Southern California on Feb. 4, Washington's third straight loss and fourth in the past five games.

Looking ahead to the rivalry game, Washington coach Mike Hopkins said, "Obviously, I know what it means to our university, and to the people in this state -- it's an awesome game.

"We haven't stopped believing. There's six games left -- last year, we ended up very strong, and that's what we're trying to do right now."

Washington State fell apart down the stretch against the Bruins. After the Cougars pulled to within 46-38 on TJ Bamba's two free throws with 14:01 to play, UCLA put the game away with a 13-0 run to take a 21-point lead with a little more than nine minutes left.

The Cougars were suffocated by the Bruins, who forced Washington State to shoot 17 of 55 from the field (30.9 percent), including 9 of 27 (33.3 percent) from 3-point range.

UCLA scored 19 points off Washington State's 15 turnovers, while the Cougars mustered just seven points off the Bruins' 10 miscues.

Bamba, who averages a team-best 14.4 points per game, had 19 points to go along with five rebounds against the Bruins. However, Justin Powell was the only other Cougar who finished in double figures, scoring 17 points -- well above his scoring average of 10.9 points per game. Mouhamed Gueye, who averages 13.7 points per game, shot just 3 of 13 and wound up with six points.

Powell has averaged 15.8 points and 5.3 rebounds and shot 15 of 27 (55.6 percent) from beyond the arc in the past four games.

"All the way around, I think his confidence is growing," Washington State coach Kyle Smith said of Powell. "We need to keep him on the floor. He's one of our big plus/minus guys. It doesn't go well when he's not out there."

Washington collapsed in the final minutes against the Trojans.

After freshman Keyon Menifield hit back- to-back 3-pointers to give the Huskies a 60-58 lead with 4:11 left, USC responded with a decisive, 14-2 run over a span of three minutes to secure the win.

Keion Brooks Jr. -- the Pac-12's second-leading scorer at 18.3 points per game -- had a team-high 22 points and 12 rebounds, while Menifield added 21 points against the Trojans.

The Huskies should be bolstered with the return of Cole Bajema -- the team's second leading scorer (9.9 ppg) -- who was suspended by the Pac-12 for Washington's game against USC for hitting a UCLA player in the groin area on Feb. 2.

--Field Level Media

Si quieres conocer otros artículos parecidos a Washington St., Washington look to fix woes in rivalry clash puedes visitar la categoría College Basketball News.

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Field Level Media was founded by sports media executives with more than 40 years of combined experience working with the most influential media companies in the industry.

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