Washington State beats UTSA 91-71
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) DaVonte Lacy has established himself as one of the best scorers in Washington State basketball history, but the senior guard is one of many Cougars who have struggled on offense this season.
Those struggles ended Saturday. Lacy scored 21 of his 31 points in the first 10 minutes, and the Cougars shot a season-high 60.8 percent from the field in a 91-71 romp over Texas-San Antonio.
''They shot the cover off it,'' UTSA coach Brooks Thompson said. ''I thought our defense was very poor, but you've got to give them credit.
''They were making some big-time shots. I thought they played very well.''
Ike Iroegbu scored 14 points for the Cougars (4-4), who led 52-26 at the half. Ryan Bowie topped UTSA (3-4) with 22 points.
The Cougars were coming off a 77-71 loss to Idaho, when Lacy hit just 5 of 18 shots, including 3 of 13 3-pointers. The 18th-leading scorer in WSU history headed to the gym after the game.
''I was in there until about 2 o'clock (a.m.),'' Lacy said.
The extra practice paid immediate dividends. Lacy tied his season high for points, while tying career highs of 10 field goals (in 15 attempts) and eight 3-pointers (in 12 attempts).
''It's not our defense why he did that,'' Thompson said. ''We definitely had some slip-ups, but I feel we guarded him well at times. He still made shots.''
Lacy came into the game averaging a team-high 16.7 points despite shooting 34.9 percent from the field.
''My teammates do a great job - they've done a great job all year - of finding me and setting screens and stuff,'' Lacy said. ''Finally, I'm upholding my duty of hitting shots.''
The Cougars tied a school record by sinking 18 3-pointers (in 30 attempts). WSU hit just 5 of 30 treys against Idaho on Wednesday.
Lacy sank 5 of 6 shots from beyond the arc in the opening 10 minutes, when he outscored the Roadrunners 21-18.
''When he scores - he's shooting the ball well - it makes us all feel good,'' WSU coach Ernie Kent said.
Kent, in his first year as coach of the Cougars, said he's found that some of WSU's returning players still bear scars from the numerous losses in recent years.
''They're fragile at times,'' Kent said. ''You really have to be careful how much you yell at them.''
Texas-San Antonio: The Roadrunners have allowed 89.0 points per game in the past three contests, including two losses and an 88-83 overtime win at Northern Arizona.
Washington State: The 91 points was the Cougars' highest total since a 93-55 loss over Santa Clara on Dec. 11, 2011. WSU's 52 first-half points topped their game totals in six games last season.
The Cougars started the day ranked far down the list of NCAA Division I teams with 37.8 percent shooting from the field and 28.1 percent from 3-point range. The Roadrunners rank among the nation's worst defensive teams with 80.3 points allowed per game and 40.3 percent shooting allowed on 3-pointers.
COMING UP EMPTY
WSU forward Junior Longrus, who has started in all but one game, did not attempt a shot in 17 minutes and went scoreless for the fifth time this season. He's averaging 2.0 points and 3.6 rebounds.
Texas-San Antonio visits Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Dec. 15.
Washington State visits No. 9 Gonzaga on Wednesday.