PULLMAN, Wash. - Derrien King scored 22 points and Washington State held on to beat Montana State 69-65 in the season opener Friday night.
Tyler Hall led the Bobcats with 32 points, hitting seven 3-pointers.
Josh Hawkinson, who had 16 points and 13 rebounds, made a pair of free throws with 5:45 to play to put the Cougars up by 14. Hall's 3-pointer had the Bobcats within 62-56 with 2:44 to go and a 3 by Quinton Everett cut it to 66-63 at 28 seconds. The Cougars made two of four free throws to lead by five before Hall got a pair at the line with 14 seconds to go. King answered with a free throw and MSU couldn't answer.
Washington State scored the first 11 points of the game and led 31-21 at the half as the Bobcats shot just 22 percent (8 of 36).
Montana State: After a slow start, the Bobcats clawed back, forcing the Cougs to shoot deep in the shot clock through much of the second half.
Washington State: Head coach Ernie Kent continues to tinker with his lineup, living up to his promise to be comfortable with a 10-man rotation.
Montana State: The Bobcats return home to face UL Lafayette on Monday.
Washington State: The Cougars travel to Kennewick, Washington for a neutral site game against Central Washington on Tuesday before heading to St. Thomas for the Virgin Islands Paradise Jam tournament.