Washington State Basketball: Cougars Defense Smothers Pepperdine University

Bleacher ReportCorrespondent IDecember 23, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 10:  Aziz N'Diaye #5 of the Washington Huskies has the ball as both Brock Motum #12 and Klay Thompson #1 of the Washington State Cougars go after it in the second half in the quarterfinals of the 2011 Pacific Life Pac-10 Men's Basketball Tournament at Staples Center on March 10, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Washington State University's men's basketball team headed into its Thursday evening contest against the Pepperdine University Waves, giving up an average of 62.5 points per game. This was good for fourth-best in the Pacific-12 and 57th-best in the nation.

Against the Waves, the Cougars impressed on the defensive end of the floor even more.  Washington State allowed 56 points, giving up only 15 in the entire first half. 16 of Pepperdine's second-half points came within the final five minutes, when the Cougars had the game well in hand.

The Cougars were good for five blocks, including two from senior forward Charlie Enquist.  They also managed six steals, with senior guard Faisal Aden grabbing two of those.  Perhaps the most convincing statistic of the game was that WSU scored 22 points off of turnovers.

The Pepperdine Waves were held to 35.6 percent shooting from the floor on the evening.

Washington State showed this impressive defensive display all while staying out of foul trouble. Only Enquist earned more than two fouls and the team on the whole was only responsible for a total of 16.

On the other hand, Washington State's offense was quite mediocre on the night.  They scored 67 points, which is about five points below their season average.

WSU did, however, shoot extremely well from beyond the three-point arc.  Their 43.8 percent was better than their percentage from inside the arc, which was 39.1 percent.

Aden continued in his scoring ways, dropping 17 points after coming off the bench.

The win extends the Cougars' winning streak to six games.

Washington State now approaches the Pac-12 schedule with an 8-4 record.  Their conference schedule opens with a home game against Oregon on December 29th.  The Cougars at 7-0 at home so far this season.