March 7, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Washington State Cougars head coach Ken Bone in the second half of the game against the Oregon State Beavers during the first round of the 2012 Pac 12 Tournament at the Staples Center. Oregon State won 69-64. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
The Washington St. Cougars did one thing right in their victory over the Pittsburgh Panthers in Game 1: Knock down threes. Guess what they didn't do on Wednesday? Make enough threes (4 of 13). And with Pitt nailing enough shots from the outside (six for 20), the Panthers had the advantage for most of this contest.
Washington State put up nine assists to only 12 turnovers, better than Pitt (14 assists, 12 turnovers). PItt grabbed nine offensive boards (compared to four for WSU). And that was just enough most of the way, as the Panthers got up to a huge double-digit lead.
Just like Pitt came back to make a game of it in the first contest, Washington State did put in a second half run. Reggie Moore's ability to get to the free throw line did give Washington State a chance.
The junior guard resembled his sometimes-unstoppable freshman self in the final 20 minutes, not only driving into the lane at will and drawing fouls, but also finishing around the rim in a way we generally haven't seen in two years. He hit 4-of-8 shots and 8-of-10 free throws, the last two of which pulled the Cougs into a tie at 49 with just under two minutes to go.
But the rally fell short as the WSU offense stalled in the final two minutes when Moore missed two shots and turned the ball over once.
Onto the deciding Game 3, where anything can happen. The halls of the Petersen Events Center will be filled to the brim in absolute anticipation.