By Greg Dempson
Texas State at Washington State
This game tips at 9:00 ET and it’s Washington State’s final non conference home game of the season before beginning Conference play. After tonight’s contest they’re off to Hawaii for the Diamond Head Classic with their first game vs. the Sooners of Oklahoma. This evening they host the Bobcats who travel north off a road win at Prairie View A&M, (62–44,) on Wednesday night. The Cougars are 6–2 straight up and 5–1 ATS at home with their two straight up losses to Idaho and Gonzaga.
Even though its early in the season, these two teams have faced one common opponent, UTEP. The Cougars lost last year at UTEP as the Miners won with relative ease, (65–52.) It was a different story this season as Washington State drubbed UTEP, (84–68,) at home this past Sunday.
This is Ernie Kent’s second season as the Cougars head coach, (13–18,) straight up last season. Each team returns 3 starters but the bench strength favors WSU plus they’re bigger and their two “bigs” inside should make a difference as the Bobcats last played two night ago while WSU’s had four days rest.
The Cougars are led by junior forward Josh Hawkinson, who broke the school record for double-doubles last season with 20 and he already has 5 this season. He also leads the team in scoring, (16.4 PPG,) as well as rebounding at (10.1). Two other starters are scoring in double figures, junior guards Ike Iroegbu (12.8 PPG) and Que Johnson at(11.0 PPG.)
Valentine Izundu, a transfer from Houston, is part of the reason for WSU’s success as he’s ranked 6th in the nation in blocks with an average of 3.38 per game plus the Cougars leads the Pac–12 averaging 7.3 blocks per game as well as leading in field goal percentage at 50.2% and steals, averaging 8.1 per contest.
The Bobcats have two starters scoring in double figures, freshman forward Kevin Gilder-Tilbury leads the team in scoring, (12.7 PPG,) while senior forward Emani Gant averages (11.3 PPG.)
· Texas State are 08–20–01 ATS in their last 29 road games as well as recent unsuccessful run of 05–12–01 ATS and 18–33 ATS the past three seasons.
· Washington State is 17–06 ATS as a home favorite of 9.5 to 12 points.
· Texas State is 08–22 ATS as an underdog the past three seasons.
· The Cougars are 10–02 ATS very good defensive teams that allow a shooting percentage defense of 39% or less the last two seasons.
· The past three seasons the Bobcats are 01–12 ATS vs. very good teams that outscore their opponents by an average of 8+ points per game.
· WSU head coach Kent is 19–08 ATS in home games after playing 3 consecutive games as favorite in all games he has coached winning by an average of 16.4 PPG.
· The past three seasons Texas State is 03–14 ATS after allowing 25 points or less in the first half in their last game.
Texas State at Washington State Pick
My Every Edge College Game of the Night is on the Washington State Cougars at –10 or less points.