SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Washington State won its second Pacific 12 game of the season on Wednesday, doubling last year’s total, and Josh Hawkinson says the Cougars are not done.
“We’re 2-0, so what?” Hawkinson said. “We’ve still got 15 or 16 conference games to go.”
Hawkinson, who scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for his 49th career double-double, said this year’s team is different.
“There’s a lot more optimism,” Hawkinson said, after Washington State beat Oregon State 75-62 in the Spokane Arena.
“We don’t want to go 2-and-whatever,”added Ike Iroegbu. “It’s uplifting for sure when we do better than last year.”
This is WSU’s first 2-0 start in league since the 2007-08 season.
Iroegbu added 15 points for Washington State (9-5, 2-0 Pacific 12), which won its fourth straight game. Malachi Flynn added 13 big points, 11 in the closing minutes when the game was decided.
“He can handle pressure,” Hawkinson said of the freshman.
Kendal Manuel had a career-high 20 points for Oregon State (4-12, 0-3), which had won six straight games over Washington State. Manuel hit six 3-pointers.
Trailing by five at halftime, Oregon State opened the second half with a 10-4 run - including 3-pointers by JaQuori McLaughlin and Manuel - to take a 43-42 lead.
Manuel added consecutive 3-pointers shortly after for a 52-49 Oregon State lead.
A jumper by Robert Franks put the Cougars up 55-54, but the Beavers took the lead right back with a 3-pointer by Stephen Thompson.
Oregon State was leading by one point when the Cougars took control.
Flynn hit a 3-pointer and a runner during a 12-0 run that put Washington State up 70-59 with just over two minutes left.
“We stopped executing on offense,” Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle said. “We went away from what was working.”
“We executed our game plan for a while,” Tinkle said.
The teams traded baskets in the first half until an 11-0 run, triggered by Hawkinson’s 3, put Washington State ahead 25-16 with 7:40 left.
Washington State led 38-33 at halftime, behind 52 percent shooting and 12 points from Hawkinson. The Beavers got 12 points from Drew Eubanks, most on dunks, and shot 48 percent in the first.
This is one of the oldest basketball rivalries in the nation, dating to 1907. Oregon State leads the series 169-125.
The Cougars were playing the home game 75 miles north of their campus in Pullman, where students were still on winter break. This is the only meeting between the teams this season because of the Pac-12’s rotating schedules.
Oregon State: The injury-plagued Beavers came in having lost seven of their past eight games. Their only victory in December was against Kent State.
Washington State: Hawkinson came in averaging 16 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. Washington State was coming off a win at archrival Washington in its Pac-12 opener. All five WSU starters average better than 9 points per game and the team is averaging 72.
Washington State made 14 of 15 free throws, while the Beavers sank just 4 of 13. But Oregon State made 10 of 19 from 3-point range, compared to 5 of 17 for the Cougars.
Oregon State plays at Washington on Saturday.
Washington State hosts No. 15 Oregon in Pullman on Saturday.
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