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Franks big game leads Washington State Past Nicholls 89-72

PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) Robert Franks scored 31 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as Washington State beat Nicholls State 89-72 in the season opener for the Cougars on Sunday.

Franks scored 19 of his 31 points in the second half going 3 of 6 from 3-point range. He was a factor on both sides of the floor using his length and athleticism.

Freshman CJ Elleby added 12 points and eight assists for Washington State (1-0). In his first game as a Cougar, Elleby set the tone for the WSU fast break offense. The Cougars had 34 fast break points, while the Colonels only managed four.

''On my board when we start the game, it doesn't say starters and it doesn't say starting five. It says first wave,'' said WSU coach Ernie Kent. ''So, it doesn't matter who is in the first wave because that second wave is coming.''

The teams traded baskets in the beginning stages of both halves, but two Cougar runs defined the game. The first was a 6-0 spurt that gave Washington State a 14-point lead with 2:37 remaining in the first half. Then a 7-0 run pushed WSU's lead to 77-58 with 6:25 to play.

''You have got the closing of the first half, closing of the second half. It really is about rhythm and that's what I kinda coach with,'' said coach Kent.

The Colonels went on a scoring drought of more than 3 1/2 minutes during that stretch, going 0 of 6 from the field.

''I was disappointed with the final eight minutes, I felt that we kind of fell apart as a team and as a whole,'' said Nicholls coach Austin Claunch.

Claunch added that he would have liked to see more fight out of his men down the stretch when things started to go sideways but credited WSU on their effort on both sides of the floor.

Gavin Peppers scored 16 points with six rebounds for Nicholls (1-2). Daniel Regis added nine points, seven rebounds and three blocks. Nicholls stayed in the game up until the last eight minutes but committing 19 turnovers proved too much to overcome for the Colonels.

''Their 1-3-1 (zone) was really good,'' said Claunch. ''It's hard to simulate that in practice because they have such good length. It is the first time we have seen zone this year to that extent, I thought we took too many 3s.''

BIG PICTURE

Washington State: The Cougars started the season 6-0 last year and look to duplicate the same kind of early season success. Starting the season off with a win is a good start but the Cougs are expected to finish at the bottom of the Pac-12 this season.

Nicholls: The Colonels fall to 1-2 on the year and will look to bounce back when they face the Idaho Vandals from the Big Sky Conference just seven miles from Pullman.

UP NEXT

Nicholls plays Idaho on Tuesday.

Washington State plays Seattle University on Wednesday.

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Key Players
Min. Per Game
Pts. Per Game
Ast. Per Game
Reb. Per Game
Field Goal %
Three Point %
Free Throw %
+ 3 Jeremiah Buford made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Thomas Clement 12.0
  Thomas Clement missed 3-pt. jump shot 25.0
+ 1 Aljaz Kunc made free throw 33.0
  Shooting foul on Trent Schiller 33.0
+ 2 Aljaz Kunc made layup 33.0
  Jervae Robinson missed layup, blocked by Elvis Harvey 33.0
  Trent Schiller missed 3-pt. jump shot 42.0
+ 3 Danny Garrick made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Thomas Clement 1:16
  Davante Cooper missed free throw 1:25
  Personal foul on Jeremiah Buford 1:25
  Viont'e Daniels missed 3-pt. jump shot 1:27
Team Stats
Points 0 0
Field Goals 0-0 (0.0%) 0-0 (0.0%)
3-Pointers 0-0 (0.0%) 0-0 (0.0%)
Free Throws 0-0 (0.0%) 0-0 (0.0%)
Total Rebounds 0 0
Offensive 0 0
Defensive 0 0
Team 0 0
Assists 0 0
Steals 0 0
Blocks 0 0
Turnovers 0 0
Fouls 0 0
Technicals 0 0
12T
away team logo Nicholls St. 1-2 294372
home team logo Washington St. 1-0 404989
Team Stats
away team logo Nicholls St. 1-2 72.9 PPG 36.5 RPG 13.8 APG
home team logo Washington St. 1-0 74.8 PPG 36.2 RPG 14.9 APG
Key Players
15
J. Jefferson 17.2 PPG 2.9 RPG 2.0 APG 43.4 FG%
3
R. Franks 21.6 PPG 7.2 RPG 2.6 APG 49.3 FG%
Top Scorers
PTS REB AST
PTS REB AST
0 FG% 0
0 3PT FG% 0
0 FT% 0
Starters
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Starters
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Bench
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Starters
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Starters
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Bench
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB