November 8, 2019 / 4:17 AM / 9 days ago

Elleby leads Washington State in route over Seattle

CJ Elleby scored a career-high 27 points on 12-of-18 shooting as host Washington State opened the Kyle Smith era in impressive fashion, defeating Seattle University 85-54 on Thursday night in a non-conference game in Pullman, Wash.

Isaac Bonton, a junior-college transfer from Casper (Wyo.) College, displayed a strong all-around game for the Cougars with 11 points, seven rebounds and a game-high four assists. Fellow guard Jaylen Shead, a transfer from North Texas, added 10 points.

The Cougars avenged a 78-69 loss to the Redhawks last season in Kent, Wash., and took a 9-8 lead in the all-time series between the schools.

Terrell Brown led the Redhawks (1-1) with 24 points, making four 3-pointers. Fellow guard Trey Hopkins was the only other SU player in double-digit scoring with 10 points as the Redhawks failed in their bid to give coach Jim Hayford his 400th career victory.

Smith, hired by the Cougars after winning 20 or more games in each of his three seasons at the University of San Francisco, had preached a more defensive approach and it certainly showed in the opener. The Redhawks shot just 36.4 percent from the field (20 of 55), had just four assists and committed 12 turnovers. WSU, which lost the ball just three times, had a 19-0 advantage in points off turnovers.

Elleby, a 6-foot-6 forward who was on the Pac-12’s all-freshman team last season, scored 16 points in the first half on 7-of-8 shooting as the Cougars took a 43-21 lead. WSU shot 14 of 25 from the field and made eight 3-pointers before the break.

WSU scored the game’s first five points and the Redhawks never got closer than five the rest of the way, 9-4 with 17:52 left in the first half on a layup by Brown. The Cougars then made a 10-0 run to pull away.

Brown kept the Redhawks competitive in the first half, scoring 14 points.

WSU freshman DJ Rodman, the son of former NBA standout Dennis Rodman, made his debut in the second half and got his first points on a 3-pointer. He finished with five points.

—Field Level Media

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