It was another game in which the Beavers played well enough to win, yet came up short.
It was also the type of game that the Beavers found themselves on the winning side of more often than not this year-- in the two games played so far, the Beavers just aren't getting the breaks they need to win.
The Beavers out-rebounded the Cougars, made all 15 free throws they attempted, and managed to foul out the number three scorer in the nation after just 29 minutes and seven points scored.
This game comes down to the ill-advised three point shooting by the Beavers in the second half. Despite sticking with the game-plan and coming back from a ten-point deficit in the second half, the Beavers were most negatively impacted by the 4-of-15 three-point shooting mark in the first half.
That was really the only quibble Coach Robinson had after the game, except for the ever-present issue of turnovers. His guys played hard, executed in the second half, just came up on the wrong end for the second straight night.
Calvin Haynes finished with a team-high 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting. Daniel Deane had seven board and scored 15 points on 4-of-9 shooting. He made a three, which surprised me, then went on to miss three more-- this was kind of the attitude the Beavers had in the first half. Roeland Schaftenaar had four points, all from the line-- he missed seven shots, five of them threes. Roeland led the team in rebounding with eight. Omari Johnson was 3-of-5 from the floor and finished with eight points.
Again, the number that sticks out at you when you look over the box-score is the poor shooting in the first half. The Beavers were 7-of-27 from 26-percent in the first twenty minutes, but only trailed WSU by five at halftime. This was due, in a large part, to the ability for the Beavers to shut down Klay Thompson, who was by far the most ineffective he's been all season, by far.
The Beavers played well enough to end this road-trip 2-0, but will head back to Corvallis with two tough losses instead.
Post-game quotes from Coach Robinson after the break.
--Jake | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Head Coach Craig Robinson:
Another tough one... On the good second half... Your players did a great job in the second half to fight from ten down..
I'm feeling for those guys in the locker room yet again. Let's look at the responsibility. In the first half we shot entirely too many threes, and we cannot when taking that many things, and we know better, and we still did it. We had some very ill-advised shots. What we're trying to get these guys to do is have confidence in our gameplan, because as you can see in the second half, we can be down ten as long as we stick with our gameplan, and we're either in the game or winning the game.
When you have the tempo going your way... You foul out their leading scorer with only seven points... and you make every one of your free throws... these had all the earmarks of the games you win.
We had a lot of things going in the right direction. The tempo-- watching them play us in a zone was fantastic because that's not their number one defense. Our guys made our foul shots. We took care of every foul oppournity, and it still was pretty lopsided-- they shout 29 and we only shot 15, with both teams playing zone. The interesting thing-- and you know I'm always positive with the referees, have always been, and always will be-- is that I'm not today. We have empirical data-- we have a tape to watch. When you're on the road, you have to be accountable for the things you can control, like the shots in the first half and awful turnovers. Again, you have to look to our veterans to win a game like this on the road.
We thought we could exploit the bottom part of the zone but what we were having trouble doing was throwing the ball down there so what we thought we 'd do is get a taller guy out there who can throw it in a little better, which would seem to help. We make our various adjustments at halftime, that's always easy to do because you have a few minutes to think and picture what other things you can do that you're not doing. Where we really stepped it up was on the defensive end. Although they scored more in the second half, all their shots were harder. They went from shooting in the fifties in the first half to the forties in the second half-- that's still pretty good but we were able to dictate who took those shots, it wasn't Thompson who beat us. If you hold Thompson to under ten points, you think you might win this game.
On Reggie Moore scoring on the first several possessions of the second half to take the lead from five to ten...
Once you get a ten point spread, the other team--us in this case-- it makes it tough on you. I was really pleased with the way our guys stuck with what we do and slowly chipped away and waited for them to make mistakes, then capitalize on them. We came up a little bit short. I can be proud of these guys even in loss, and this is one of those games. There isn't a whole lot negative to say about effort or execution, expect for the first half.
On limiting Klay Thompson to just seven points. Nobody else will probably do that. How did you get it done?
We had a good group of people working with us-- my staff watching tape, and our scout team. The guys who are on our third team, what we call them, did a good job of mimicking guys and helping us prepare. And then, it comes down to the guys in the game executing what we've been practicing. It's a complete team effort. To Thompson's defense, people are going to be keying on him because he's scoring so many points.
On the upcoming schedule....
There are no easy games, especially when you're in the position that we're in, trying to turn some things around. There aren't going to be games that you can check off as automatic wins. You have to play hard, continue to execute, and hopefully win the games you're supposed to win.