Tonight, the Washington State Cougars moved one step closer to being the 101st best National Champion in the country, downing the Pitt Panthers 67-66 in front of a screaming group of 26,000 fans at Friel Court.
A terrific basketball game for all Cougar fans, who watched Abe Lodwick and Reggie Moore combine for 30 points in the winning effort. My three thoughts from the game (be kind because I've only had 4 all day):
- Down 3 at halftime, Pitt decided to "contain' WSU's 3 point shooting by going to a zone. Dixon's thought: The zone would lead to fast break opportunities for a more athletic Pitt team that was dying to get out in transition. The result: The Cougs picked it apart and EVERYONE got hot, especially Mr. Charlie Enquist. Cougs got up as much as 12 with 7:00 left as a result.
- As attacking as Reggie Moore was for the most of the game, he became just as passive down the stretch. And the result was almost catastrophic. If we have any hope of stealing 1 of 2 in Pittsburgh, Moore has got to be relentless throughout. It also wouldn't be bad if Motum decided he could play.
- Abe Lodwick is the recipient of the "Spank then Hug" doctrine from the basketball gods. For the second year in a row (Northwestern in the NIT being the first), Abe had an opportunity to seal it from the line with 3.5 seconds left and clanked it. But, thanks to a money block by Shelton and a missed 3 at the end (how did that shot miss again?), we were spared the heartbreaking defeat. We now move on to Pittsburgh up 1-0.
So, there you have it. Cougs clinch a winning season by going 19-16. And if we win the stinking title, we will have won 20 games for the second year in a row.
How cool are we???
Finally, here are some highlights from the game. Enjoy!