Josh Hawkinson rounded back into form today after a subpar night against Gonzaga to lead the Cougs to a 91-67 blowout win over Portland State and moving to 5-1 on the season.
Hawkinson made shots from all over the floor and didn't miss until midway through the 2nd half, coupling his afternoon with ten rebounds, giving him yet another double-double and helping soothe some of the wounds inflicted by their football team back in August. (Just kidding, that game will forever be the worst)
A quick three and low post move from Calean Robinson got Portland State off to a 5-0 start and Zach Gengler made a couple jumpers to keep things interesting early, but then Hawkinson took over.
Hawkinson would go 4-4 over the next three minutes to send WSU on a 13-4 run, capped off by a Que Johnson three pointer, giving WSU a 19-13 lead at the 12 minute mark.
The Vikings didn't fold, finding open jumpers at the elbow and behind the three point line, but the Cougs countered with Connor Clifford down low. Portland State was not able to match his size alone and was able to find open cutters for lay-ups when he was doubled.
Hawkinson was inserted back into the lineup for Clifford around the nine minute mark and right away dropped two defensive rebounds and a three-pointer. Portland State did not have an answer, as turnovers plagued an 8-0 WSU run capped by a Charles Callison layup to open up a 38-23 lead by the five minute mark.
Teams held serve for the remainder of the half, with a Callison three pointer at the buzzer to close out the half leading 47-30. Hawkinson had 17 points on 8-8 shooting.
The Cougs opened up the 2nd half in a 2-3 zone that Portland State beat up pretty badly, but were saved by a couple threes by Que Johnson and Callison. Johnson's a bank shot from 30 feet out.
The Cougs' offensive output in the 2nd half allowed to stay with a zone that wasn't working, getting some needed game reps for the system that may need to be used in Pac-12 play when the inevitable foul trouble rears its head.
As for that offense, the great outside shooting gave Josh Hawkinson room to work, playing a nice two-man game with Junior Longrus for the majority of the 2nd half. Somewhere around the 12 minute mark, the bench cleared out and I stopped paying attention. Sorry, bench!
Hawkinson left the game with 24 points, making 10 of 11 shots from the floor.
Up next for the Cougs is their first trip outside of Pullman all the way to Moscow for a revenge match against the 5-4 Vandals on Thursday. The game belongs to UI so your guess is as good as mine if you'll be able to watch it anywhere.