JULIE SCOTT, Associated Press
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — DaVonte Lacy scored 21 points and hit three 3-pointers in the second half to help Washington State beat Lamar 84-64 Saturday night.
Washington State led by 18 points in the first half, and punished the undersized Cardinals on the glass, taking a 24-13 first-half rebounding advantage that included nine offensive boards.
Still, Lamar found a way to cut the lead to four midway through the second half.
“I like the fact we did not panic. Hopefully, we won’t discuss losing a lead every game, and we will get a lead and keep it.” Washington State Coach Ken Bone said. “You know when teams are behind they are going to make a run, and they did.”
Lamar chipped away at the Cougars in the second half and went on an 11-0 run with just under ten minutes to play to cut the lead to 55-51. Lamar put on a full-court press that forced seven turnovers in the half.
“We are an athletic team, but they are bigger and stronger and we did not rebound well in the first half,” Lamar coach Pat Knight said. “We did a lot better in the second. We used our quickness. They just beat us on the boards.”
Washington State found the spark they needed when freshmen Ike Iroegbu hit a layup and a foul shot followed by a Dexter Kernich-Drew steal and dunk to ignite the crowd.
“As a team we felt the energy go down, we stepped it up and went back to what go us that first-half lead,” Lacy said.
Washington State hit three 3’s in a row, including two by Lacy and one by Kernich-Drew to put the game way out of reach. The Cougars shot 46.2 percent from the field and shot 83 percent from the line, 15-18.
Amos Wilson scored all his 16 points in the second half for Lamar (0-3) and Donovan Ross added 13 points for the Cardinals.
Lamar shot 46 percent from the field for the game and ended the night with 29 rebounds.
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