Cougs not crisp, but they improve to 8-2

SPOKANE -- The "Princeton offense" in basketball, a system that preaches continual motion and backdoor cuts, can make more athletic opponents look flat-out bad. And WSU, according to head man Ken Bone, wasn't crisp at all for much of Saturday's tilt against Air Force. So in the end they'll just have to be satisfied with a 75-68 win and an 8-2 record.

Reggie Moore has quietly scored in double figures every game this season but one. There was, however, nothing quiet about his performance on Saturday in front of more than 7,000 fans.

The freshman turned in his first career double-double in a Cougar uniform, with 16 points and 10 assists in the win.

The recipient on a number of Moore's drives-and-dishes -- Klay Thompson.

The Pac-10's leading scorer, and the No. 3 hoopster in the nation coming into Saturday with a 25.8 ppg average, poured in 19 points against Air Force. It was the first time this season the true sophomore didn't score at least 20 points in a game.

Still, the Cougars shot 51 percent on the night and committed a season low three first half turnovers.

But that didn't mean Bone was pleased in the least with the execution.

He yanked all five starters at one point, saying on the post-game radio show it wasn't just one player failing to execute on a designed play coming out of a timeout, but instead "more like four or five of them."

The Cougs got it together enough to pull away in the second half after Air Force had closed to within a deuce at 59-57 with 6:22 remaining in the game. Early in the half, at the 16:34 mark, WSU had opened their largest lead, a 14-point advantage.

But Moore, Thompson and Nikola Koprivica, who pulled down a career high 11 rebounds, helped WSU stretch the lead back to double digits and put the game out of reach.

The Cougars have two more non-conference games -- in Kennewick vs. Portland State on Dec. 19 and in Seattle vs. LSU on Dec. 22 -- before opening Pac-10 play in Pullman against the Oregon schools on Dec. 31 and Jan.2.

NOTABLE NOTES:
  • Brock Motum tied his career high with 14 minutes played and drew praise after the game from Bone. The freshman went 2-for-5 from the field and had a steal.

  • Also receiving high marks from Bone was Michael Harthun, who in his 22 minutes scored six points on 3-for-5 shooting, dished off two assists and had a block, steal and rebound.

  • DeAngelo Casto picked up four fouls and played only 17 minutes on Saturday. The sophomore has looked at times this season explosive, at other times to still be feeling the effects of a knee injury suffered during the offseason in international play. He said earlier this season it feels good some days, others not so good. Saturday might have been one of the latter. He finished with three points , three boards, an assist, a block and three turnovers.
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