Cougars can’t hang on to second half lead aginst Omaha
PULLMAN, Wash. — KJ Robinson scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half, JT Gibson finished with 18 points, and Omaha beat Washington State 85-77 on Thursday night.
Robinson was 6-of-12 shooting, including two 3-pointers, and made 6 of 6 from the free-throw line. Ayo Akinwole added 14 points, Zach Thornhill scored 11 and Matt Pile grabbed 14 rebounds for the Mavericks.
Omaha trailed 48-35 at halftime and by as many as 15 points early in the second half before Robinson scored the final seven points in a 10-0 run that trimmed the deficit to 53-48 with 14 minutes to play. and a stifling defensive effort to start the second. Robinson made a 3-pointer to cap a personal 7-0 spurt and give the Mavericks the lead for good at 67-65 about eight minutes later.
Omaha (3-3) was more physical on both ends of the floor, winning the rebounding battle 41-37, and outscoring the Cougars in the paint 24-18. The Omaha bench outscored the Washington State bench 29-3.
Washington State (3-3) was held to just 29 points on 7-of-35 (20%) shooting in the second half behind a stifling defensive effort by the Mavericks. CJ Elleby tied his season high of 27 points and also had nine rebounds for the Cougars. Isaac Bonton added 18 points, seven rebounds and six assists.
Washington State: The Cougars were overwhelmed defensively in the second half.
Omaha: The Mavericks’ pulled off a surprising win over Washington State behind a solid second half performance.
Omaha: The Mavericks play host to the Southern Jaguars on Monday.
Washington State: The Cougars play Nebraska in the first round of the Cayman Islands Classic on Monday.
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