The Bobcats (0-1) took a 83-61 loss to Washington State (1-0) in its first away game of the 2022-23 season. The Cougars victory keeps its 33 consecutive home opener winning streak alive, as the Bobcats continue to be exploited on the road after finishing 7-6 in away games last season
The first half initially looked to be the Cougars for the taking as they came out with a 9-2 lead in the opening minutes. Senior guard Mason Harrel had the answer scoring the Bobcats first seven points. His contributions were followed by junior guard Dylan Dawson hitting a deep 3-pointer sparking an 8-0 run.
The Bobcats led the Cougars at this point 20-15 through the first half.
The tables began to turn with a pair of three-pointers and seven straight points from senior forward DJ Rodman of Washington State who finished the first half with 13 points after only averaging four points per game last season. Rodman and the Cougars closed out the first half with an impressive run giving them the lead 38-31 at the half.
Foul trouble played a lucrative role for the Cougars as it forced them to switch to a 2-3 zone defense which disrupted the offensive momentum of the Bobcats.
The Bobcats struggled to find a rhythm on offense, getting outscored 45-30 in the second half and shooting 0-4 from the three-point line.
The Cougars offense continued to roll with sophomore forward Mouhamed Gueye making his presence known inside at 6-feet-11-inches. He caused chaos for the Bobcats defense off pick-and-roll situations and finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds.
Controlling the offense for the Cougars was junior guard Justin Powell who finished with 14 points and a career high 12 assists.
The Bobcats went down as many as 27 points in the second half after having a drought of zero field goals made in seven minutes of play. Harrell finishing with 17 points and senior forward Tyrel Morgan and freshman forward Davion Sykes both finishing with 10 points, was ultimately no match for the size and shooting of Washington State.
The Bobcats will look to bounce back against Mid-America Christian at 6 p.m. on Nov. 10 at Strahan Arena in San Marcos, Texas. The game will air on ESPN+.