PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Royce Woolridge had a season high 20 points and freshmen Que Johnson added 14 to help Washington State beat Pepperdine 78-61 Sunday.
Washington State (5-4) opened with a 10-0 run and led by as many as 16 in the first half, taking a 41-26 lead at intermission. The Cougars never trailed in the game and used its size advantage to expose a smaller Pepperdine team.
“They did a good job defending us, they are bigger, but they also played more physical and we got frustrated at times which took us out of our offense,” Pepperdine coach Marty Wilson said.
Washington State outscored Pepperdine 42-20 in the paint. Jordan Railey, the seven-foot transfer from Iowa, controlled the paint for the Cougars, scoring 10 points on 4-6 shooting from the field and had three blocks.
“We didn’t talk about taking fewer jumpers, we made it our game plan to get the ball in the paint, and we were able to find the inside more tonight than we have in the past,” Washington State coach Ken Bone said.
Pepperdine held Washington State’s leading scorer DaVonte Lacy to only nine points, well below his 21 point season average, but Lacy contributed with a season high eight rebounds and four steals. D.J. Shelton chipped in nine to balance out the Cougars scoring.
“Teams are harder to guard when they have three, or four weapons instead of just one. They did a nice job tonight guarding DaVonte, but then Royce and Railey and Que stepped up,” Bone said.
Pepperdine (6-5) cut the lead to seven, 61-54 with just under eight minutes to play, but went suddenly cold from the field, converting just two field goals the final seven minutes.
Woolridge had 16 of his 20 points in the second half to help the Cougars with their best shooting performance of the season. The Cougars shot 53.6 percent from the field (30-56) Pepperdine shot only 38 percent from the field, well below their season average of 50 percent.
Jeremy Major had 17 for Pepperdine and Stacy Davis added 12 points. The Waves had only two players score in double figures.
Both teams shot poorly from the free throw line. Washington State went 5-18 from the line and Pepperdine 7-18. Washington State forced 15 Pepperdine turnovers and had 10 steals.
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