Robert Franks scored a game-high 22 points as Washington State pulled away in the second half to defeat visiting Idaho 90-70 Wednesday night in the Battle of the Palouse in Pullman, Wash.
The schools, separated by 7 1/ 2 miles and the state border, met for the 114th consecutive season, the oldest continuous men’s basketball rivalry west of the Mississippi River and the sixth-longest in the nation behind five Ivy League series.
Franks, a senior forward, entered the game 11th in the nation in scoring at 24.8 points per game. He finished 8-for-15 from the field and made two 3-pointers.
Freshman forward CJ Elleby had 20 points and a game-high eight rebounds for WSU (5-2), which improved to 5-0 at home. Ahmed Ali added 14 points and Jervae Robinson scored 10.
The Cougars avenged a 91-64 defeat last season in Moscow, Idaho. The Vandals had won three of the previous four meetings.
Trevon Allen led Idaho (3-5) with 17 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Geno West added 11 points, and Marquell Fraser and Jared Rodriguez each scored 10.
After leading 45-40 at the intermission, the Cougars opened the second half with an 11-0 run as Elleby had five points and Franks four. The Vandals were scoreless for the opening 3:50 of the half, during which they missed seven field-goal attempts and committed four turnovers.
Idaho never got closer than 10 points the rest of the way, with the Cougars extending the lead to as many as 20 points on seven occasions.
WSU shot 31 of 65 from the field (47.7 percent) and was 13 of 35 from 3-point range. The Cougars had 17 assists and just four turnovers. Idaho shot 28 of 63 (44.4 percent) but were just 6 of 21 from beyond the arc and 8 of 15 at the line. The Vandals committed 12 turnovers.
The first half included 16 ties and seven lead changes, with both teams holding the advantage for a little more than seven minutes.
—Field Level Media