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WSU basketball set for cross-state matchup with Seattle U

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Jim Hayford spent plenty of time in Eastern Washington. Now he’s back to square off with the Cougs.

NCAA Basketball: Washington State at Utah Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

You were probably watching football on Sunday, so I’ll do a quick recap of how WSU basketball did against Texas Southern: Not very well (especially in the first half).

To say the Cougs started slow would be an understatement. The team went just 8-33 from the floor and 4-21 from behind the arc in the first half and fell behind 42-28 at the half to Texas Southern. It took WSU a little bit of time to overcame the glacial first half. They didn’t kick it into high gear until mid way through the second half and had to outscore the Tigers 35-14 in the final 13:28 to force overtime.

Robert Franks was the star for the Cougs. He went 6-13, including 5-7 from three, on his way to a game high 25. He, and the late emergence of Malachi Flynn, helped the Cougs pick up the 86-84 season opening victory.

It was a little painful to watch on Sunday. But the Cougs get another shot to show who they are later tonight when they welcome Seattle U into Pullman. It will be the 15th meeting between the Cougars and Redhawks, and the first since 1990.

The Redhawks are led by first year head coach Jim Hayford, who left Eastern Washington last season after six seasons at the helm. While at EWU, Hayford played Washington State both times, falling to WSU in 2011 and 2012.

The Redhawks have had an up and down opening two games to start the 2017 campaign. The offense was held to just 46 points in a 62-46 loss at Saint Louis. Just a few days later, they bounced back by putting up 120 points in a win over Puget Sound at home.

In that 51 point win, five Redhawks scored in double figures Richaud Gittens who had 26 points on 10-15 shooting.

Seattle was picked to finish fifth in the WAC this season, but with an offense as explosive as theirs, anything can happen, especially against a defense performance as... Um... Questionable... As the one Washington State displayed Sunday.

Basketball

WSU Continues Homestand Hosting Seattle U Wednesday - WSUCougars.com | Washington State University Athletics
The Cougars and Redhawks tipoff at 6 p.m. at Beasley Coliseum

GAME PREVIEW: MBB at Washington State - Seattle University Redhawks Athletics
Following a brief appearance on their home court, Seattle University men’s basketball heads back out on the road, opening a four-game road swing at Washington State.

Football

Washington State climbs five spots to No. 14 in College Football Playoff rankings | The Spokesman-Review
The Cougars have spent the 2017 campaign sliding up and down the Associated Press Top 25 rankings – as high as No. 8 and as low as No. 25 – but for the first time this fall, they’ve cracked the top-15 of the College Football Playoff poll.

Huskies fall to 18th, WSU up to 14th in CFP poll | Sportspress Northwest
Washington took a dive to No. 18 in the College Football Playoff rankings, but Washington State rose Tuesday to No. 14 in the same poll.

Mata’afa leads hungry ‘Speed D’ | Washington State University | union-bulletin.com
Cougars DT Hercules Mata’afa had three sacks on Utah QB Tyler Huntley by halftime last weekend.

AP All-America Watch: ‘Touchdown Jesus;’ Auburn’s surging RB - The Washington Post
The senior nicknamed “Continent” uses his mammoth frame (6-8, 344) to maul defenders.

Bowl projections: Pac-12 playoff path blocked, USC to Fiesta, Washington to Alamo
Sun Bowl: Washington State.