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(See photos) WSU in Australia
WSU falls in close on to Cairns in tour finale
Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012
By Jessica Schmick, WSU Athletics
CAIRNS, Queensland – Brock Motum scored 41 points and Reggie Moore added 18, as the Washington State University men’s basketball team fell in a close game, 86-81, to the Cairns Taipans of the National Basketball League, Monday at Cairns Basketball Stadium. The game was WSU’s fifth and final of its Australian tour.
Motum finished the tour having scored at least 20 points in each of the games, while Mike Ladd recorded his third double-figure rebounding game as he grabbed 13 boards, adding 6 points. Motum was 13-for-19 from the field, including three-for-four from the three-point arc. He was also 12-for-16 from the free throw line and had seven rebounds. Moore finished with 18 points and three assists, while Dexter Kernich-Drew added seven points.
The Taipans were led by Cameron Tragardh with 26 points, while Clint Steindl added 20, Brad Hill had 14 and Aaron Grabau added 10. Hill had a team-high six rebounds, as the Cougars outrebounded the Taipans, 32-17.
Cairns started the fourth quarter with a purpose, taking a 63-62 lead with 9:25 to go in the game. After tying the game, the Cougars regained the lead at 65-63 with 8:15 to go. The Taipans then went on a 7-0 run, before Motum’s layup snapped the momentum to put his team down 70-67 with 5:27 to go. With WSU trailing 70-69, Motum was called for a technical foul and Cairns’ Hill was called for an unsportsmanlike foul. Motum hit his two free throws though, as he had been fouled, and the Cougars scored five-straight to lead 74-70.
The Taipans came back to regain the lead at 78-77 after a pair of free throw misses by Moore with 1:45 to go in the game. The Cougars tied the game at 78, but Cairns scored 8 unanswered and, including the last two as Motum fouled out, as the Cougars fell 86-81.
Down five to start the second half, DaVonté Lacy hit a layup in the first 15 seconds to quickly cut the lead to 3 points, 42-39. The teams exchanged points as Reggie Moore caught fire, scoring eight points to give the Cougars a tie with the Taipains at 53 apiece and five minutes to go in the third. A basket by Motum gave the Cougars their first lead since a 4-2 advantage with 8:12 left in the first, as WSU led 55-53 with 4:34 to go in the third quarter. Washington State extended its lead to three points at the end of the quarter, 62-59. Motum had 27 points at the end of the third, joined in double figures by Moore with 16, while Ladd had 12 rebounds.
The Cougars scored first to start the second quarter on a layup by Reggie Moore to cut the lead to single-digits, 26-18 with 9:37 to go in the half. The Taipans were able to get the lead back to double figures at 36-24 with 4:05 to go in the second period. The Cougars chipped away at the lead, with 9 of their next 11 points coming from the free throw line. With 20 seconds to go and the Cougars trailing by seven, Moore kept the ball in his heads, drove to the hoop and converted a layup off the glass cutting the WSU deficit to five, 42-37 at halftime.
Brock Motum had 14 of WSU’s 16 points in the first quarter, but a 7-0 Taipan run gave WSU a 10-point, 26-16 deficit after the first 10 minutes. WSU shot 44 percent from the field, while Cairns shot 63 percent on 10-for-16 from the field. Moore ended the first quarter with two assists, while Ladd and Kernich-Drew each had two rebounds.
Washington State finished its five-game tour at 2-3, winning its first two games and droppings its last three. The tour, which took the team ‘Down Under’ Aug. 5, will end Aug. 16 when the team returns back to Pullman. Games begin for the Cougars in November, as they host Saint Martins in exhibition action, Tuesday, Nov. 6 and open the regular season, Saturday, Nov. 10 against Eastern Washington. Both games will take place at Beasley Coliseum.