HOOPS: GAME DAY IS HERE!

DAVONTE LACY

THIS IS IT, tonight is the last chance to see the Cougs play this season at home on the Beasley hardcourt. And even with Brock Motum, the Pac-12's leading scorer, looking like he will be out, Las Vegas oddsmakers have still installed the Cougs as 1-point favorites over Pitt for Monday's opening game in the CBI's best-of-three Championship Series.

Ken Bone has indicated Motum could be a game time decision -- but he said Monday morning it does not look good for his availability tonight and he's doubtful for Game 2.

The junior post, who leads the conference with an 18.0 ppg average, suffered what has been called a sprained ankle/foot just minutes into the win over Oregon State in the semis. X-rays were negative but Motum was in severe pain and could not put weight on his toes immediately after the injury. Motum has been undergoing therapy and is wearing a boot but has not practiced since the injury. The 6-10 Motum also leads the Cougs in rebounding (6.4) this season.

If the win over Oregon State was any indication, senior center Charlie Enquist, junior wing Mike Ladd and sophomore forward D.J. Shelton will all be used more extensively assuming Motum is unable to go.

Washington State (18-16) meets the Big East's Pittsburgh Panthers (20-16) at 7 p.m. The game is on HDNet but for those who want to see the Cougs live for the last time this season -- General admission ticket prices are $18 for adults and $13 for youth, while WSU students get in free with a sports pass. Season ticket holders and ZZU CRU members can enter the seating bowl at 5:30 p.m. and the general public and students that are not ZZU CRU members can get in at 6 p.m. Tickets are available through wsucougars.com or the WSU Athletic Ticket Office at 1-800-GO-COUGS.

The Cougars host the first game of the series, while Pitt will host the second (Wednesday, March 28) and if need be the third game (Friday, March 30). The game(s) at Pittsburgh will tip off at 4 p.m. PT.

With one more win, WSU will eclipse a record they set in last year's NIT -- most postseason wins in a season. WSU is 3-0 in the CBI, having gone 3-1 in last year's NIT.

Pitt ranks in the upper half of Big East statistics in WSU is 11-3 in home games played at Beasley this season and 6-0 in nonconference home games.

The hoop probably looks as big as a swimming pool to redshirt senior Abe Lodwick these days. Lodwick have averaged 19.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game in the quarterfinals and semifinals of the CBI. After scoring a career-high 16 points against Wyoming, he went for 23 points and added a career-high 12 boards for his first double-double. Lodwick was 5-for-8 from beyond the 3-point arc against OSU, and shot 67 percent from the floor in the two games. as his five 3's marked a career-high.

Maybe they should black it out? The Cougars are just 5-13 in televised games this season after going 10-11 each of the previous two seasons. WSU is 13-4 when not televised, including 5-3 in Pac-12 play.

Reggie Moore leads the league and ranks 37th in the country with 5.3 assists per game.

This year's CBI tourney marks WSU's fifth postseason appearance in the last six years. The Cougars are 16-11 all-time in postseason play.

Freshman guard DaVonté Lacy has now started 27 games for the Cougars and is fourth on the team with 8.4 points per game.

Senior Marcus Capers has now played in a program record 132 games.

This marks the 12th postseason appearance for Washington State and its first College Basketball Invitational (CBI) appearance...it's WSU's fifth postseason appearance in the last six years.

WSU hasn't played a whole lot against Big East teams. The Cougs have only met Pitt once, a 57-43 loss in 2008 and that was the last Big East team they've played. WSU is 7-7 all-time against the Big East, and has never played Cincinnati, UConn, Georgetown, Louisville or Rutgers.

In five years of the CBI's existence, Pac-12 teams have won the title twice. Oregon won last year, and Oregon State took the trophy in 2009. Both series went three games.

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