C.J. Elleby had 22 points and Isaac Bonton added 16 to help Washington State overcome a halftime deficit and post a 65-50 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff in a nonconference game on Sunday at Pullman, Wash.
The Golden Lions (1-11) threatened to pull the upset against Washington State (9-4). They led by four points at one point in the second half.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff did not have a scorer in double figures with Jamil Wilson and Dequan Morris each finishing with eight points. Marquell Carter had a team-high eight rebounds.
Jeff Pollard had 11 points and Noah Williams had all eight of his points in the second half for the Cougars.
Elleby had 15 of his team’s 26 points in the first half. He made 5 of 10 shots from the field while his teammates were only 4 of 18.
Pine Bluff had balanced scoring en route to its 28-26 halftime lead. Five players had at least four points, led by Morris’ eight points. The Golden Lions made 50 percent of their shots and outrebounded the Cougars 21-13 in the first half.
They outscored Washington State 18-6 in the paint in the first half but went scoreless from there after intermission. They made only 28 percent of their shots after halftime, including only three shots made within the three-point line.
An 11-2 run put the Cougars ahead 44-37 with 11:45 remaining in regulation. Pine Bluff had only one field goal in a 5:04 stretch until Kshun Stokes made a 3-pointer with 11:10 left to cut the lead to 44-40.
After Stokes made another shot, Williams and Elleby each had two baskets to increase the Cougars’ lead to 53-42 with 6:59 remaining. Williams also had a steal, blocked shot and assist in that pivotal stretch.
Two 3-pointers on consecutive possessions by Jordan McNair and Terrance Banyard cut the lead to 53-48 with 5:34 left.
Washington State answered with Bonton making two free throws and a 3-pointer and Williams converting a jumper to give the Cougars a 60-48 lead with 2:37 left.
—Field Level Media