PULLMAN, Wash. – The Washington State University men’s basketball team will take on Buffalo at the 2012 Cougar Hardwood Classic held Friday, Dec. 21 at Seattle’s KeyArena, Idol Sports and Entertainment announced Thursday.
This will be the eighth-straight year for the Cougar Hardwood Classic which began in 2005 against Utah. WSU has also faced San Diego State (2006), The Citadel (2007), Montana State (2008), LSU (2009), Portland (2010) and Pepperdine (2011) in the game at KeyArena. The Cougars are undefeated at 7-0 in the Cougar Hardwood Classic.
This year marks the third all-time meeting between WSU and Buffalo, with the Cougars holding a 2-0 advantage. The schools haven’t faced each other in 62 years, having last met Dec. 16, 1950 in Buffalo, N.Y. with Washington State taking the 70-49 victory. The first meeting came just a year prior as WSU defeated the Bulls, 56-44, Dec. 17, 1949, also in Buffalo.
The Cougars return 67 percent of their scoring from 2011-12, as they reached the championship round of the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) and notched a 19-18 record. Seven lettermen, including three starters return for the Cougars in 2012-13, led by All-Pac-12 First Team honoree and league Most Improved Player, Brock Motum, and All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention honoree, Reggie Moore. Fourth-year head coach Ken Bone is looking for WSU’s seventh-straight winning season which would be its most consecutive winning seasons since 1945-52.
Buffalo returns nine team members in 2012-13, including three with starting experience, highlighted by All-Mid-American Conference First Team selection Javon McCrea. The forward was just the third sophomore in the last 10 years to be named to the conference’s first team. McCrea is the former MAC Freshman of the Year and increased his numbers to 14.9 points and 7.1 rebounds during his second season under head coach Reggie Witherspoon.
Witherspooon’s team achieved a 20-11 record last season marking the third time in four years that the Bulls have recorded at least 20 wins. Buffalo finished 12-4 in the MAC and advanced to the second round of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament before falling to Oakland, 84-76.