RTC Live: Washington State @ Portland

Posted by rtmsf on November 20th, 2011

RTC Live heads to the Great Northwest for an interesting Pac-12 vs. WCC matchup this evening. So far this season the WCC is 3-1 against its bigger brother, but the only conference loss was Portland being blown out by Washington. Join us to see what happens tonight, after the jump:

Game #26: Washington State’s trip to Portland to face the Pilots is a relatively rare foray into a mid-major gym for a BCS conference team. Portland (2-1) hasn’t hosted a Pac-12 team since Oregon visited nearly two years ago to the day, and Washington State (1-1) has only visited three in the last three years (with Gonzaga excepted). Both teams come into the 2011-12 season with huge gaps to fill in their production, with the Cougars having to replace the departed Klay Thompson and DeAngelo Casto, who combined for 33.6 points and 12 rebounds per game, and the Pilots having to overcome the losses of lethal three-point shooter Jared Stohl and versatile forward Luke Sikma, who led the team in assists, rebounding and steals. Though both are likely going to have down seasons, the schools still have talented players. The Cougars are led by shooting guard Faisal Aden, who has scored 30 points in two games this season, and Australian forward Brock Motum, who has averaged 20 points and eight rebounds in those two games. Portland is led by Canadian senior shooting guard Nemanja Mitrovic and sophomore point guard Tim Douglas, who are both averaging 12 points per game in three games so far this season. Portland has a significant chance for a home-court upset, as its shooter-heavy lineup could exploit a Washington State perimeter defense that has given up a 19-45 opponent three-point shooting.

Recap

The Washington State Cougars came into the Chiles Center and gave the Portland Pilots more than they could handle in an 83-73 victory. Despite the Cougars’ propensity to give up three-pointers, their athletic guards were able to keep the Pilots to a 5-21 performance from deep, while coaxing 20 turnovers. The Cougars were led offensively by shooting guard Faisal Aden, who had 21 points, five rebounds and three steals; forward Brock Motum, who had 13 points; and point guard Reggie Moore, who had six points, six rebounds and eight assists. The Pilots had five players in double figures, including true freshman guard Kevin Bailey with 14, with 9-10 free throw shooting. However, Portland, which came into the game with the nation’s worst assist-to-turnover ratio, had only 11 dimes compared to its 20 turnovers. The Pilots also struggled with foul trouble, with guard David Carr and centers Thomas Van Der Mars and Dorian Cason each picking up four fouls. Washington State showed a major vulnerability on the defensive glass, giving up 16 offensive rebounds, but were able to overcome it with their 28-50 shooting from the field.

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