Gueye and Abogidi combine for 46 points as the WSU men beat UW

Mouhamed Gueye and Efe Abogidi combined for 46 points as the Washington State men’s basketball team (15-12, 8-8) ended its five game losing streak and beat the Washington Huskies (13-13, 8-8) in the first of back-to-back games for the rivals. Three days after the Cougs had only made five two point shots, they absolutely dominated UW in the paint in the victory.

Despite the absolute domination by Washington State’s bigs in the paint, it was Michael Flowers four straight free throws in the final minute that put the game out of reach. The last five points WSU scored in the game came as a result of free throws. The Cougars’ last field goal came when Abogidi slammed home a second-chance dunk off of a missed Flowers layup, with 2:10 left in the game, to make it 73-70. Washington missed a three pointer on its next possession and Noah Williams pulled down the defensive board; the junior then fouled and was immediately subbed out for DJ Rodman.

Fortunately for Washington State, Terrell Brown Jr. missed his layup after the foul and the Cougars got the ball back. It was at that point Flowers missed his layup and Abogidi slammed the rebound home.


Abogidi was an absolute difference maker in the final five minutes as 10 of his 21 points came in that time frame. The sophomore finished the night with the double-double, 21 points and 14 rebounds (10 of them defensive boards).

The Cougars never trailed after they broke out of the halftime locker room. WSU started off the second half on a 13-1 run that pushed its lead out to 46-34. Williams capped off that run with a beautiful three pointer off of a Husky turnover — the junior finished the night with five points and four assist. Tyrell Roberts and Flowers had key threes in that run that kept the Cougar offense in motion. But Gueye and Abogidi’s absolute domination in the paint was the bulk of Washington State’s offense at the start of the second half, and throughout the night.

But it didn’t take long for Washington to pick apart the WSU zone as the Huskies went on a 16-5 run over a five minute stretch to cut the deficit down to three at 50-53. While the Cougar defense was focused on Brown Jr., PJ Fuller and Langston Wilson were the recipients of many uncontested looks that the absolutely capitalized on. Fuller, in particular, was tricky as his three point shot was absolutely deadly throughout the second half — he hit three of his four three point attempts in the final period.

Despite the hot shooting of Fuller and Wilson, the Huskies were never able to tie up the game in after WSU took the lead; the closest Mike Hopkins squad got was one point at 54-55 with 8:50 left in the half. It was Gueye who pushed the Cougar lead back out to three with a lay-up and then the freshmen got the next points too with another jumper in the paint to make it 59-54.

The next couple of minutes saw both teams head to the charity stripe a combined four times (three times for WSU and once for Washington). Jamal Bey hit a three for the Huskies and Gueye hit a jumper as the offenses on both sides kept up their hot shooting. Washington State actually outscored UW six to three during this stretch and got its lead back out to six before the Huskies got it back down to three on another Fuller three.


Flowers took an uncontested three at the buzzer that was wide left of the rim and fell harmlessly to the ground as both teams went to the locker room with the game tied at 33. The last bucket of the half had come when Abogidi got an offensive board and slammed it home with 1:14 left to tie it up. It marked the end to a back and forth half that saw Washington unable to pull away from WSU despite the fact that it carved up the Cougar’s zone whenever it had the ball — to the tune of 1.14 points per possession.

The Huskies’ largest lead of the half came when Fuller hit a three pointer to make it 17-13. That was quickly cut in half by a beautiful pass by Williams to Jackson in the paint that cut UW’s lead down to two. Washington would again push its lead out to four thanks to a Fuller three at 23-19, but this time it was a jumper by Gueye that cut the lead in half with 8:27 left.

While Washington State was 1-8 from beyond the arc in the first half, the Cougars hit 44.4 of their field goals to keep pace. Gueye led the squad with 13 points in the first half and that included some spectacular dunks. Abogidi also chipped in a few dunks as there was points throughout the half that the game looked more and more like a dunk contest. In fact, six of the Huskies first eight points came on ally-oop dunks that picked apart a….unique defensive setup Coach Smith rolled out.

It didn’t take long for this experiment to end.

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Photo Credit: Washington State Athletic communications

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