Robert Franks scored 31 points and pulled down 11 rebounds as the Washington State Cougars easily handled Nicholls State to win their opener, 89-72.
The Cougs (1-0) led by as many as 22 points with just over four minutes to go, and the margin was never below double digits over the final 26 minutes against the Colonels (1-2).
While Franks did what we’ll expect him to do this season — take the green light early and often and score with efficiency (he took just 19 shots) — what was unexpected was the WSU defense, which took the ball away 19 times and held Nicholls State to just 0.96 points per possession. The turnovers led to a pile of fastbreak points for the Cougs, who scored 34 in transition. On the night, WSU had 16 layups and eight dunks.
Freshman CJ Elleby had a nice debut, starting the game and scoring 12 with eight assists in 27 minutes. Arinze Chidom was the only other Cougar in double digits with 10 points; he also had five rebounds, four steals and three assists.
The Cougars will next be in action Wednesday against Seattle University at the Showare Center in Kent.