PULLMAN, Wash. — Robert Franks had 25 points, nine rebounds and a career-high eight assists, Malachi Flynn added 15 points and Washington State used a big second-half run to beat Idaho State 83-62 on Saturday.
Franks had those numbers with 4:15 left and was subbed out of the game with 3:22 remaining.
“It was just confidence, everybody moving the ball and having rhythm,” Franks said. “You know once somebody sees it go in, it just got contagious with the team.”
WSU only led 35-31 at halftime but shot 53 percent in the second half — with 11 3-pointers. The Cougars finished 15 of 34 from distance.
“I am glad people saw that part of Robo’s game, because he is not just a shooter, he is a complete player,” WSU coach Ernie Kent said. “If we can get him to continue to come defensively, you know he has a chance to be really special.”
Idaho State was within 61-53 midway through the second half, but the Cougars went on a 17-2 run for a 78-55 lead.
Arinze Chidom added a career-high 14 points for the Cougars (3-0). Flynn, who entered the game shooting 32 percent, sparked the WSU offense 6-of-11 shooting. Drick Bernstine grabbed nine rebounds for WSU, while freshman Milan Acquaah added eight points and four assists.
“I definitely started to feel a little bit better, still missed a free throw, so just slowly coming back,” Flynn said. “A lot of it is my teammates, they give me confidence every day. Whatever I need to do to help this team win, that is the biggest thing that it comes down to.”
Balint Mocsan led Idaho State (0-3) with 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting, and Brandon Boyd added seven points with eight rebounds. Boyd averaged 17.5 points coming into the game.
Idaho State: The Bengals have lost their last seven meetings with the Cougars.
Washington State: Carter Skaggs scored six points — on two 3-pointers as the sophomore has made nine straight from distance over two games. He was 7 of 8 on Wednesday en route to 26 points.
Idaho State plays at San Jose State on Wednesday.
Washington State travels to Fullerton, California to play in the Wooden Legacy Tournament. Their first opponent will be Saint Joseph’s on Thursday.