Cougar Hardwood Classic returns this fall

DEXTER KERNICH-DREW

AFTER A ONE-YEAR ABSENCE, the Cougar Hardwood Classic returns to Key Arena in Seattle this season. Washington State issued a release on Tuesday that first-year hoops coach Ernie Kent and the men’s basketball team will take on Hawaii at 'The Key' on Saturday, Dec. 13.

Tickets for the game will go on sale Friday, Sept. 5.

Hawaii went 20-11 last year and have not had a losing season since 2009-10.

The 2014 Cougar Hardwood Classic will mark the ninth in 10 years -- last year’s event did not take place due to venue conflicts, said WSU in the release.

The Cougar Hardwood Classic began in 2005 against Utah. WSU has also faced San Diego State (2006), The Citadel (2007), Montana State (2008), LSU (2009), Portland (2010), Pepperdine (2011) and Buffalo (2012) in the Seattle game.

The Cougars are undefeated at 8-0 in the Cougar Hardwood Classic.

“Each year the Cougar Hardwood Classic is an excellent opportunity to take our program to Seattle where there are so many great Coug fans ready to come out and support us,” WSU head coach Ernie Kent said. “We are excited to have the chance to continue to grow the event as we battle an outstanding Hawaii team this year. It should make for a great basketball game for all the fans.”

This year marks the seventh all-time meeting between WSU and Hawaii, but the first since the 1991-92 season. WSU’s only defeat in the series came Dec. 9, 1953, at Pullman, a 47-45 loss.

The Cougars are beginning the Ernie Kent era in 2014-15 with three returning starters in seniors DaVonte Lacy, Dexter Kernich-Drew and Jordan Railey. Lacy is on pace to become the Cougars’ all-time career 3-point leader, needing 61 treys this season to match Klay Thompson’s record of 242 (2009-11.)

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