Thursday, 21 February, 2019

Washington's tourney hopes take another massive blow with loss to Oregon

Washington's tourney hopes take another massive blow with loss to Oregon Washington's tourney hopes take another massive blow with loss to Oregon
Melinda Barton | 04 March, 2018, 04:17

So it was no surprise when, toward the end of his rookie campaign, Flynn ran himself right into the proverbial "freshman wall". The Cougars haven't had anywhere close to the season they hoped for after starting 6-0 with victories over Saint Mary's and San Diego State. Flynn responded with his own gesture, waving the coach off.

"He's been incredible", Kent said. "He's been as good as any point guard that I've had the opportunity to coach at this point in time in his career with hitting big shots, his leadership and most importantly, his defense".

If there's any blockade awaiting Flynn this season, he's yet to find it. The Huskies opened as 3.5-point home favorites and now are laying four.

The Cavaliers (27-2, 16-1 ACC) tied the game 58-58 with two minutes left and overcame another five-point deficit in the final minute. His four steals? Indeed, those also were a game-high.

4 - Viont'e Daniels, 6-2, 160, Jr. "Last year he was kind of inconsistent this time of year, so I love to see how he's growing and how he's being consistent down the stretch of the season".

Washington is now 20-11 overall and 10-8 in Pac-12 play.

A rubber match with the Ducks, who toasted the Cougars 84-57 in Eugene three weeks ago, is possible if not probable.

Both teams still have something to play for.

"We had a hard time bending our knees and making plays for each other", Altman said. "It will make them that much better next year".

In WSU's previous matchup with OR in Eugene, the Cougars were missing their leading scorer in junior forward Robert Franks. Flynn squeezed eight points into the final eight minutes of the half and the Cougars went into the break leading 37-35.

OR broke the game open by scoring the last nine points of the first half to go up 44-29 at the intermission.

The Oregon sophomore will play in his hometown when the Ducks visit Washington at 1:30 p.m.

Troy Brown had a basket, Keith Smith a hoop and two free throws and Payton Pritchard a 3-pointer in the back-breaking, 9-0 flurry. The lead changed three more times before WSU went up two possessions when Flynn intercepted an errant OR passed and pushed the ball ahead to Franks, who converted a layup to make it 74-70.

Junior guard David Crisp avearges 11.4 points, 2.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists, and junior guard Matisse Thybulle 10.9 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists.

Oregon's leading scorer, Elijah Brown (18 points), followed with a 3 of his own to make it 77-75 and OR got the ball back with a chance to tie the game at the free-throw line, but Pritchard missed the back end of his one-and-one and Washington State grabbed the rebound. Pritchard's final attempt was off at the buzzer.

"You had some wonderful performances and Malachi's was special", Washington State coach Ernie Kent said.

Before picking either side, you need to read what SportsLine college hoops expert Mike "Top Dog" Tierney - who has put together a ideal 3-0 run picking Huskies games - has to say.

43 - Drick Bernstine, 6-8, 235, Sr.