PULLMAN – For three seasons, Charlie Enquist rarely left the bench.
On Saturday afternoon, Enquist rarely went to the bench, and for good reason.
Enquist, a fifth-year senior post at Washington State, led all players with career highs of 20 points and 13 rebounds in a 75-49 rout of Eastern Washington.
“That’s as satisfying as it gets (after) all the sweat, blood and the coaches yelling at me,” Enquist said.
“But it feels good. Finally.”
Enquist, who had career totals of 50 points and 41 rebounds in 54 games prior to this season, set career bests in virtually everything. He went 7-for-8 from the field and 6-for-8 at the free-throw line before an appreciative crowd of 4,002 at Beasley Coliseum.
“He was outstanding,” WSU coach Ken Bone said. “Not a whole lot else to say.”
Enquist has always been praised for his work ethic and team-first attitude. The 6-foot-10, 235-pounder is playing regularly (and starting) for the first time since his glory days at little King’s High School in Edmonds.
“What I tried to do this summer in every workout, every stair we ran, every sprint we did, every time we were in the gym, I’d give my effort the fullest,” Enquist said.
“I’m glad to see it paying off. Finally.”
The Cougars (4-4) halted Eastern’s three-game winning streak in dominating fashion. The Eagles (4-3) were held to season lows in points, rebounds (29), field-goal shooting percentage (25.4) and 3-point shooting percentage (17.4).
“The guys just did a great job defending,” Bone said.
WSU shot 50 percent from the floor and had 16 assists on 23 baskets to offset 21 turnovers. Point guard Reggie Moore had season highs of 15 points and nine turnovers.
“We made a great effort to share the ball,” Bone said. “Unfortunately, we shared it with both teams. That’s disappointing. But all in all, I liked the effort.”
Both teams were plagued by turnovers and cold shooting in the opening 12 minutes. Washington State then went on a four-minute, 14-0 run that featured excellent passing, and the Eagles never threatened the rest of the way.
“I thought our team effort was great,” said WSU post Brock Motum, who had 15 points, six rebounds and six turnovers.
Motum and Bone singled out senior guard Marcus Capers for his defensive work on Collin Chiverton. A junior wing, Chiverton led Eastern with 12 points (he was averaging a team-high 15.7) on 3-for-11 shooting.
The Cougars defeated Eastern for the 21st time in the past 22 meetings despite missing four valuable players. Redshirt freshman Dexter Kernich-Drew helped fill the void by scoring 10 points – seven more than he had scored all season.
Leading scorer Faisal Aden sat out with a concussion suffered in Wednesday’s win over Grambling (La.) State. Mike Ladd missed a third straight game with his sprained thumb. Abe Lodwick has yet to play due to a foot fracture, and D.J. Shelton has been suspended indefinitely for what Bone termed “inappropriate conduct.”
Eastern coach Jim Hayford, upset with his team’s performance, banned players from giving interviews.
“Washington State played a very, very fine basketball game,” Hayford said. “They had a great game plan. What they did against our ball-screen defense I attribute to their coaches.”
WSU visits Idaho (4-3) on Wednesday.