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HCA: Cougs break triple-digits in 103-94 win over CSUN

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The Cougs pick up their 4th win on the season at home Tuesday night.

NCAA Basketball: Washington State at Stanford Andrew Villa-USA TODAY Sports

This season, Washington State basketball has been the Robert Franks show. Tuesday night was no different but, for the first time this season, he was outscored in a WSU victory. Freshman CJ Elleby put up a double-double, with a career-high 23 points and 11 boards, while Franks added 22 points in Washington State’s 103-94 win over Cal State Northridge.

The game marks the first time the Cougs broke triple-digits in regulation since they did it against Centenary back on March 2, 2002. That night, J Lockier (that’s his official name, I looked it up) put up 40 points in the 102-80 victory. The loss was bad enough for the Centenary Gentlemen (that’s their nickname, I looked it up), they dropped from division Division I to Division III in 2011.

WSU got off to a fast start in this one, going on an 8-2 run to start the game and taking a 54-36 lead into the break over the Matadors. In the 2nd half, Robert Franks left the game after a hard foul on a dunk attempt, but the Cougs didn’t let up, going on an 8-0 run over the next 90 seconds to push their lead.

CSUN would rally and cut the lead to 8 points in the final minute. But Franks, who returned from his injury, hit his free throws down the stretch to seal win number 4 on the season for WSU.

“You score 103 points, you have 27 assists in the game and you get as a coach that there’s just something that is not right yet,” WSU Head Coach Ernie Kent said after the game. “I just felt like we could have closed out the game a lot better than we did.”

“I thought we were terrific in the first half, maybe even 5-8 minutes in the 2nd half, before we just completely had mental lapses all over the floor.”

The win is the 4th in a row to start the season for Washington State at home, but it wasn’t impressive by any means. CSUN ranks 328 in Ken Pom’s rankings (out of 353) and the game was closer than it ever should have been.

Next up, Washington State hits the road for the 2nd time this season to take on a good New Mexico State team on Saturday Night. The Aggies are ranked 110 by Ken Pom and sit at 4-1 right now. They have a chance to move to 5-1 when they visit UTEP tonight.

“This group has to know, we’re going into an environment down in New Mexico State right now that, if you let that crowd walk over you and not play smart for 40 minutes, you’re going to be in trouble,” Kent told the media.

The Cougs and Aggies will tip off this Saturday from Las Cruces.

Washington State tops 100 points in win over CSUN | The Spokesman-Review
Freshman CJ Elleby scored a season-high 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds with four assists as Washington State beat Cal State Northridge 103-94 on Tuesday night.

Football

Washington State falls to No. 13 in College Football Playoff rankings | The Spokesman-Review
Washington State came into the Apple Cup ranked No. 8 in the CFP poll, but the Cougars absorbed a 28-15 loss to Washington Friday at Martin Stadium and dropped out of the top-10 of the rankings, released today on ESPN’s College Football Playoff show.

Washington State quarterback Gardner Minshew, left tackle Andre Dillard receive invites to Reese’s Senior Bowl | The Spokesman-Review
WSU quarterback Gardner Minshew announced on Twitter Tuesday afternoon he’d accepted an invitation to compete in the Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, less than 200 miles away from his hometown of Brandon, Mississippi. WSU later confirmed that Andre Dillard, a three-year starter on the offensive line who’s protected Minshew’s blind side this season, had also received an invitation.

Pac-12 power rankings: Washington No. 1, Cougars No. 2 | The Spokesman-Review
The regular season is over for everyone but Stanford and Cal, and after 13 weeks of power rankings shuffling we’re back to where we started: Washington at No. 1 and Oregon State at No. 12.

Pac-12 power rankings: Arizona State’s stock continues to rise after third straight victory | The Spokesman-Review
As the end of the regular season draws near, it looks increasingly probable that both divisional titles will be determined by rivalry games taking place next weekend – one in the desert and the other on the Palouse.

Ohio running back Jamir Thomas orally commits to Washington State | The Spokesman-Review
Jamir Thomas, a highly-touted running back/inside linebacker prospect out of the Akron, Ohio, area, orally committed to the Washington State football program Tuesday afternoon.

The Pac-12 in a mess, exhibit 1,300,423

Left out: How Larry Scott and the Pac-12 continue to lose ground in the college football arms race | OregonLive.com
The Pac-12 feels further away, maybe than ever, to mattering on the national stage in the biggest revenue-generating sport in college athletics.