The Washington State Cougars, still riding the high of defeating in-state rival Washington on Sunday, are back in action, hitting the hardwood at newly-christened Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, Oregon on Thursday night. The game marks the beginning of the back-half of the Pac-10 schedule for each team, with Washington State looking to make a late run in an effort to secure a spot in the NCAA tournament. At 5-4, Washington State currently sits in a tie for fourth-place in the crowded Pac-10 standings.
The Cougars are led by Klay Thompson, whose 22.2 points and 4.4 rebounds per game each lead the team. Thompson's been the spark for the Cougars, taking a more all-around role on the court this year. With Reggie Moore beginning to get more comfortable with the splint on his injured left wrist, the Washington State offense appears to be turning a corner, as evidenced by the 87-80 win over Washington on Sunday.
The Oregon Ducks sit at 3-6 in the conference, tied with the Oregon State Beavers for 8th place in the Pac-10. The Ducks have made strides throughout the season in what has always been expected to be a rebuilding year under first-year head coach Dana Altman. Sixth-year senior Joevan Catron leads the way with 15.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per game for the Ducks. E.J. Singler is close behind with 11 points per game, with Malcolm Armstead and Johnathan Loyd adding 3.6 and 2.3 assists per game respectively.
Last time out, the Cougars took it to the Ducks in Pullman behind strong performances from Thompson and Moore. Four starters were in double-figures in the Cougs 77-63 win, led by Thompson's 16 points.
The Cougars head "deep in the woods" tonight on the exotic hardwood of Matt Court at 6 p.m. The game will be televised on Comcast Sports Net (channel 179 in Seattle). It will also be broadcast on 850 AM in the Seattle area.