PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Robert Franks scored 22 points as Washington State beat Idaho 90-70 on Wednesday night.
Freshman CJ Elleby had 20 points and eight rebounds for Washington State (5-2) and Ahmed Ali added 14 points in 18 minutes.
WSU enacted revenge from last year’s loss to Idaho in the Battle of the Palouse’s 114th meeting. The rivalry between the Cougars and Vandals is the longest-running rivalry in the nation outside of the Ivy League.
Elleby scored 10 of the last 13 first-half points, giving the Cougars a 45-40 halftime lead and they went on an 11-0 run in the first four minutes of the second to push their lead to 16 points.
Idaho trimmed its deficit to 62-52 but WSU hit four 3s in a 14-2 run that made it 76-56 with eight. Ali started the run with a 3, followed another by Viont’e Daniels. Franks drove the lane for an easy bucket and hit a 3 on the next possession before Ali ended the run with another trey.
“There’s no question we wore them down a little bit with the numbers we have on our bench. You can just continue to put athletes, shooters and speed and defensive stoppers on the floor, it is going to do that to teams,” said WSU coach Ernie Kent.
There were eight ties and seven lead changes in the first half. The Cougars made five of their first 17 shots, including 2 of 11 from 3-point range in the first 11 minutes and an 8-0 run by Idaho gave the Vandals a 21-26 lead with 8:16 left before the break.
“I thought we took some 3s that were out of rhythm, where we were hunting a little bit,” Kent said.
Trevon Allen scored 17 points with seven rebounds for Idaho (3-5). Cameron Tyson was a non-factor for Idaho, scoring only three points on 1-of-9 shooting. The freshman came in as the top-scoring freshman in the Big Sky at 16 points per game and seventh in the country in 3-point percentage.
“I think they did a good job on him. They had a guy running at him all game long, that’s gonna happen,” said Idaho coach Don Verlin.
Washington State: The Cougars stay undefeated at home and will stay in the state of Washington for their next three games and then head to the Las Vegas Classic before returning home to face Santa Clara on Dec. 29. The Cougars, who finished 11th in the Pac-12 last season, open conference play at Rival Washington on Jan. 5.