5:00 PM ET, January 2, 2005
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- It was just like old times for Washington State, and that was bad news for Cougar fans."We looked like the Cougars of old," coach Dick Bennett said after his team struggled in a 59-47 loss to California on Sunday at the Spokane Arena.Richard Midgley scored 22 points and contributed to a sterling defensive effort for the Bears (8-4, 1-1 Pac-10).Washington State (6-5, 1-1) shot just 29.8 percent from the field, missed 15 of 16 tries from 3-point range and went 1-for-16 on field-goal attempts for a 20-minute period midway through the game.Jeff Varem led the Cougars with 15 points and eight rebounds. No other Cougar had more than eight points or four rebounds.Thomas Kelati, who leads the Cougars with an average 11.9 points per game, was guarded by Midgley most of the game and finished with four points."They like to set a lot of screens for him," Midgley said. "I tried to stay on his hip when they set screens and keep him from penetrating. The posts did a good job helping out."The Cougars trailed all the way after a 10-0 California run early in the game. Washington State was down 33-23 at the half, then went 0-for-8 from the field to fall behind 47-27 before Robbie Cowgill scored on a layin with 9:22 left.That started a 15-1 spurt by Washington State before Midgley scored on a short runner with 2:58 to go."We struggle to score," Bennett summed up. "Everyone knows that, because we don't have a lot of scorers."The traditionally woeful Cougars swept California last year, but the Bears prevailed Sunday even without key starters Leon Powe and Ayinde Ubaka, who were out because of injuries."We just had very little energy," Bennett said. "But on the other hand, I was very impressed by Cal."That's a far better team than we saw last year," he said. "They were very aggressive. They go to the glass about as well as anyone I've seen, and they've got a great guard in Midgley."The taller Bears gave the Cougars few open looks at the basket."I'm not going to say they stopped us from doing anything," Varem said. "I put the blame on us. We just didn't execute."Bennett said, "We were thoroughly outplayed."He said the Cougars were hurt by the absence of starting forward Shami Gill due to a back injury and by the lack of scoring from Kelati."They took him out nicely," Bennett said.
|FG Made-Attempted||18-48 (.375)||14-47 (.298)|
|3P Made-Attempted||3-9 (.333)||1-16 (.063)|
|FT Made-Attempted||20-29 (.690)||18-26 (.692)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||20 (0/0)||25 (0/0)|