Search this site
Junior College Football
Washington State Home
CF.C Luxury Suites
HOOPS: Ladd points the way in WSU victory
Cougfan.com Managing Editor
Posted Dec 9, 2012
IT WAS A sound strategy, even if it didn't fully take hold until the second half. With Fresno State entering Beasley on Sunday with a 30-plus steal margin, who better a choice to run the Washington State point than Mike Ladd, the Cougar guard who played his first two college seasons in a Bulldogs uniform?
It was a tighter game than the final score would indicate, the Cougs’ 59-50 victory over FSU. There were nine lead changes, most of them in the second half. But in this point guard-by-committee season for WSU,
was the biggest reason why the Cougars moved to 6-4 on the year.
was again the Cougars’ star – he was the game’s leading scorer with 23 points and it was Motum’s fourth consecutive game scoring 20-plus points. But WSU stilled trailed after Motum had done most of his damage, absent a complementing scoring threat until Ladd started driving to the hoop to begin in the second half.
As Ladd either scored or went to the line, that penetration also created space on the perimeter.
Beyond Ladd’s 19 points – 14 of which came in the second half -- his biggest contribution won’t show up in the box score.
When Ladd ran the point, Washington State’s offense was at its smoothest. When other Cougar ball handlers took the reins against the opportunistic FSU defense, things got shaky.
LADD WASN’T LOOKING
to score in the first half, he passed up some decent and took only three shots. He was also rested a decent amount over the game’s first 20 minutes.
But with WSU trailing 25-24,
’s locker room adjustment was clear – keep Ladd on the floor and have him drive to the hoop.
Fresno State soon countered, closing things in the middle. So Ladd started shooting from outside. WSU took the lead back at 42-41 on a Ladd deuce. Tied at 45-all, Ladd hit the biggest bucket of the game, drilling a three-pointer to give the Cougs a lead they would not relinquish.
Ladd also threw up a prayer that was answered down the stretch -- falling to the ground after being fouled. Ladd missed the free throw but the Cougs retained possession and Motum drove the lane to put WSU up 54-48 and effectively put the game out of reach.
AS MUCH AS
Ladd and Motum put up the points, the combination of finals week and a tough loss to Gonzaga on Wednesday looked to have taken a toll on the home team.
FSU missed a number of open shots with the Cougs slow to rotate defensively and their inside defense looking thin. Had Fresno State been a little sharper, particular in the first half, this one might have ended differently.
But it didn’t. And the Cougs may have also found a reason to shift away from the point-guard-by-committee.
Ladd’s 19 points were the most he’s scored in a WSU uniform. His career high is 22 points, when he was with Fresno State in 2009. Motum led the Cougs with eight rebounds.
had seven boards and Ladd had six.
So how good is Fresno State (5-4) and was their poor shooting performance an anomaly or par for the course against Pac-12 competition? A clearer picture should emerge soon, the Bulldogs play two of their next three games against Pac-12 teams in Colorado and UCLA.
Both teams shot poorly from the floor, Fresno State was 18-60 (30 percent) while Wazzu was 19-47 (40 percent). Both teams shot 71 percent from the free-throw line but was had seven more trips to the charity stripe (24 to 17.)
hit his first field goal in the second half. The Cougar guard was in his second game back after a knee injury and was coming off a career high 22 points against Gonzaga. He scored four Sunday against Fresno State.
was the only other Cougar in double figures, with 11 points. Junior Longrus played a career-high 21 minutes (two points) while Shelton and
failed to score.
Washington State’s late game charge resulted in both teams scoring 26 points in the paint. Fresno State had nine steals to the Cougars’ four. The turnover margin was closer, with FSU holding a 17-14 edge.
This week in Cougar Hoops
Dec 10, 2012
Cougs' dramatic upset bid no surprise to Zags
Dec 6, 2012
Motum Gets Under Zags’ Skin
Dec 5, 2012
2013 Scout.com Recruiting Yearbook
with an annual Total Access Pass
Free Email Newsletter
Don't miss any news or features from Cougfan.com. Subscribe to our newsletter to have our newest articles emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis.
Click here for a
list of all Team Newsletters
Add Players to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite players. Click name to add to
View My HotList
Add Topics to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite topics. Click link to add to
Basketball > Australian Institute of Sports > Alumni
Basketball > Rainier Beach HS > Alumni
View My HotList
Places to go:
Junior College Football
Things to do:
Things to buy:
Things to know:
Terms of Service
Advertise on MSN
About our ads
© 2012 Microsoft