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OGDEN — Being one of the final 12 undefeated teams in the country, the streak eventually had to come to an end.
Weber State shot 36% from the field while Washington State shot 58%, which allowed the Cougars to pull away in the second half en route to a 94-60 victory at Beasley Coliseum in Pullman, Washington.
For the first nine minutes of the game, the Wildcats and Cougars traded baskets with neither team getting a lead larger than 2 points. After a layup from Dillon Jones that put Weber up 13-12, Washington State went on a 14-3 run over a five minute span, which included three buckets by Mouhamed Gueye, to give the Cougars a 10-point advantage.
But as basketball is a game of runs, the contest was defined by several of them.
In less than a minute, Weber State responded by going on a quick 7-0 run of their own to cut the deficit to 3 points.
Just as Weber State seemed to get in a rhythm with converting stops on defense to easy buckets in transition, Washington State responded — again — with a 9-1 scoring run to end the half, taking an 11-point lead into the break.
The physicality appeared to get the best of the Wildcats, and both players and the coaching staff were visibly frustrated with the contact Weber State was taking on drives to the rim.
Only four players got on the board in the first half for the Wildcats, led by Jones and Koby McEwen's 7 points. The team was held to 31% on 8-of-26 shooting, was outrebounded by 11, and only had two assists as everyone struggled to find the bottom of the net.
After a half where both teams struggled to find an offensive rhythm that forced several three-minute scoring droughts, the Cougars did anything but struggle in the second half. Washington State shot a remarkable 75% from the field on 23-of-32 shooting, including 9-of-12 from behind the arc, and had no issues pulling away from Weber State.
Following a 3-point basket from Noah Williams that gave Washington State their largest lead of the game at 19 points with just over eight minutes remaining, Weber State went on an 8-0 run to cut the lead to 11 points. But every time the Wildcats had a sliver of hope at a chance of a comeback, the Cougars had an offensive answer.
It appeared nearly impossible to stop the Cougars from scoring. They finished the game making 13 of their last 15 baskets, which included three 3-pointers from DJ Rodman and a pair of triples from Michael Flowers.
Four players finished in double figures for the Wildcats, led by Jones' 16 points and seven rebounds. McEwen and Overton both added 12 and Seikou Sisoho Jawara had 11.
Williams led five double-digit Washington State scorers with 17 points, five rebounds and four assists; and Gueye added a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds in the win.