GRAMBLING STATE (0-5) AT WASHINGTON STATE (2-4)
Tip-off: 5:30 p.m. today, Beasley Coliseum, Pullman.
Series: Washington State leads, 2-0. WSU won the last meeting, 83-55, in 1999.
Statistical leaders: For Grambling State — PJ Roberson, 7.2 ppg and 7.4 rpg; Rondale Livas, 3.2 apg. For Washington State — Faisal Aden, 17.0 ppg; Brock Motum, 7.0 rpg; Reggie Moore, 5.5 apg.
Scouting report: The Cougars, coming off an 0-3 showing at the 76 Classic in Anaheim, Calif., face one of the worst teams in NCAA Division I. The Tigers average 41 points and 20 turnovers per game and shoot 28 percent from the field. The 7-foot Roberson blocks four shots per game, but that hasn’t prevented Grambling (La.) from losing every game by 30 or more points. Aden leads the Cougars in scoring, steals (1.7), 3-point shooting percentage (46.2) and free-throw shooting percentage (90.9), but the senior guard is also first in turnovers (4.2). WSU junior guard Mike Ladd may miss a second straight game with a sprained right thumb. Coach Ken Bone said Ladd and senior forward Abe Lodwick, who has yet to play due to a foot fracture, are “the two toughest guys without a doubt in our program.” Bone said their absence figured in the 14-point lead WSU blew late in Saturday’s loss to UC Riverside. “We just played a soft game,” Bone said. “It’s hard to compete when you’re that soft.” The Cougars, who have played only one home game so far, play seven of the next eight games at home (including three area games in Seattle and Spokane over Christmas break). The one road game is 8 miles away at Idaho next Wednesday.
Next: Eastern Washington at WSU, 3:30 p.m. Saturday, TV: ROOT Sports.