Freshman forward CJ Elleby had career-highs of 23 points and 11 rebounds to lead Washington State to a 103-94 non-conference victory over visiting Cal State Northridge on Tuesday night in Pullman, Wash.
Senior forward Robert Franks added 22 points and seven rebounds for the Cougars (4-1), who wrapped up a 3-0 homestand. They also defeated Cal Poly and Delaware State. The Cougars are undefeated in games in which Franks has played, suffering their only loss at Seattle University when he was sidelined by an injury.
Viont’e Daniels added 14 points, Carter Skaggs scored 12 and Ahmed Ali had 11 for WSU, which shot 36 of 70 (51.4) percent from the field. Daniels and Ali shared team-high honors with six assists. Ali also had six rebounds.
Lamine Diane led CSUN (1-4), which was coming off a victory against Tennessee State, with game-high totals of 32 points and 18 rebounds before fouling out with 15 seconds left.
Diane, a redshirt freshman from Senegal, was the reason the Matadors had a 58-30 edge in points in the paint, although WSU offset that by shooting 15 of 36 from 3-point range. Elleby, Daniels and Skaggs each made four treys.
Darius Brown II scored 25 points on 12-for-12 shooting from the field and had six assists for the Matadors. Rodney Henderson Jr. added 16 points.
The Cougars, who had a 44-22 advantage in bench points, led by as many as 22 midway through the second half before a late CSUN rally pulled them within single digits in the final minute.
Elleby scored 14 points in the first half as the Cougars took a 54-36 lead. He had nine points during a 16-4 run over the final 4:28, including a dunk and then a 3-pointer with 1 second remaining.
WSU shot 21 for 38 (55.3 percent) in the first half, including 9 of 20 from 3-point range.
Diane had a double-double before halftime, with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
—Field Level Media