PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Isaac Bonton scored 19 points and had 12 rebounds for his first career double-double to lead Washington State to a 87-59 victory over Incarnate Word Saturday night.
Bonton went 7-of-16, including 2-of-4 from beyond the arc, after shooting just 1-of-10 in the Cougars last outing against Florida A&M. He also had six assists.
“I think this is the first near-triple-double day I’ve had in Division 1,” Bonton said. “All year, I’ve struggled a bit scoring and I feel like I have had the humility to confront that and my coaches have been stressing just to stay positive. There are a lot of thing you can’t control so you just have to worry about the things you can.”
CJ Elleby scored 13 points and had seven rebounds, Aljaz Kunc scored 13 and had eight rebounds, Jeff Pollard added 11 points and six rebounds and Tony Miller added 10 for the Cougars.
Washington State (8-4) dominated the game on both ends of the floor, shooting 49% and holding Incarnate Word to a 33% field goal percentage.
“I think we played well. We had some rough spots and turned the ball over a bit but that’s somewhat to be expected when we aren’t going to have Jaylen Shead for a couple of weeks,” said WSU coach Kyle Smith. “I thought Isaac had a great performance. He had a little bit of a rough start but I said just to keep playing and make sure you are guarding and then when he gets penetration good things start happening.”
The Cougars went on a 12-0 run late in the first period after a back-and-forth start to the game and entered the half up 46-27.
Incarnate Word (3-9) cut the Washington State lead to 15 with 12:17 left in the second after forcing three consecutive turnovers but couldn’t hang on against the bigger, more athletic Cougars. The Cardinals were out-rebounded 53-27 and lost the battle in the paint 46-26.
”Well, obviously Washington State shot really well, especially in the first half which made things difficult on us,” said Incarnate Word coach Carson Cunningham. “I thought we had a really good stretch at the start of the second half for the first 15 to 16 minutes. And we just have to learn from it and keep plugging.”
Drew Lutz scored 10 points and Augustine Ene, Dwight Murray, Keaston Willis and Vincent Miszkiewicz all had eight points for the Cardinals.
Incarnate Word: The Cardinals have yet to pick up a Division I win this season, coming closest when they fell in overtime to Central Arkansas Wednesday.
Washington State: The Cougars are on a five-game win streak and have one more non-conference match-up before opening Pac-12 play.
Incarnate Word: The Cardinals play at Nicholls State on Jan. 2.
Washington State: The Cougars play Arkansas-Pine Bluff at home on Saturday.