Ernie Kent’s teams have had all sorts of trouble beating the Idaho Vandals in his time in Pullman, but there was no such trouble on Wednesday night as the Washington State Cougars pulled away in the second half to win the 114th meeting between the two schools, 90-70.
Freshman CJ Elleby had another big game, scoring 20 points and grabbing eight rebounds, three of them offensive, while dishing out a couple of assists. Robert Franks led the Cougs in scoring with 22. Viont’e Daniels, coming off the bench for the first time in a very long time, scored six points but dished out nine assists and grabbed six rebounds.
WSU posted a season high in offensive efficiency, thanks in large part to a season-low four turnovers — that represented a paltry 6 percent of the Cougars’ offensive possessions. This, on the heels of a season-worst turnover percentage in Saturday’s loss at New Mexico State.
It also didn’t hurt that the Cougs hit 13-of-35 from behind the arc — six different players hit two threes — and went to the line 22 times.
WSU led by just one with a little over a minute to go in the first half, but they were able to stretch the lead out to five at the break behind five points from Elleby. WSU then went on an 11-0 run out of halftime to push the lead to 16 — again, behind five points from Elleby and also four points from Franks — and Idaho never seriously threatened again.
The Cougs play next on Sunday when they host the Montana St. Bobcats at 4 p.m. PT in the Tri-Cities. The game will be broadcast on Pac-12 Network.