CJ Elleby scored 25 points with 11 rebounds and Jeff Pollard added 12 points as Washington State started fast and never was threatened in an 87-73 nonconference victory Thursday over visiting Florida A&M.
Marvin Cannon had 11 points as the Cougars (7-4) increased their winning streak to four, their longest since winning the first six games of the 2017-18 season.
M.J. Randolph scored 21 points and Rod Melton Jr. added 15 as the Rattlers remained winless in nine games with just two more nonconference contests remaining before the start of Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference play on Jan. 4.
Washington State had a 46-24 rebounding advantage and led 34-18 in bench points. Noah Williams added 10 points for the Cougars.
The Cougars opened a 10-point lead at 15-5 less than seven minutes into the game and never let the advantage dip below double digits after that.
Washington State pushed its lead past 20 points at 34-13 when Williams scored in the paint with 5:20 remaining in the first half.
The Cougars led 41-24 at halftime by shooting 45.9 percent from the field and holding a 25-15 rebounding advantage. Washington State shot 52.5 percent in the game after going 62.5 percent in the second half.
Florida A&M got to within 11 points with just over three minutes remaining at 78-67 before the Cougars closed out the victory. Washington State led by as many as 25 points.
The Cougars, who entered leading the nation in fewest turnovers per game at 9.7, turned the ball over 20 times. The Cougars’ defense forced the Rattlers into 14 turnovers. Florida A&M had a 31-25 advantage in points off turnovers.
Already facing a tall order, the Rattlers were dealt another blow in the first half when center Evins Desir was lost for the rest of the game with a right ankle injury. Florida A&M’s leading scorer had four points and five rebounds in 12 minutes.
—Field Level Media