PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Washington State jumped out to a 25-5 lead early in the first period and never looked backed against an over-matched Florida A&M team on Thursday night.
CJ Elleby scored 25 points and had 11 rebounds for his first double-double of the season to lead Washington State to a 87-73 victory.
“We were really locked in defensively and did a good job of taking them out of their sets,” Washington State coach Kyle Smith said. “CJ was great all around. He was talking right and trying to lead. Ever since the Idaho game, he has really stepped up on the court as far as taking pride in defending, rebounding and when he shoots it like that, really efficiently, it’s great.”
Elleby also had three assists and shot 6 of 7 in the second half and 10 of 15 for the game to lead the Cougars to their fourth straight win.
Jeff Pollard added 12 points and Marvin Cannon scored 11 points and had eight rebounds for the Cougars (7-4). The one area where Washington State struggled was taking care of the ball. The Cougars turned the ball over 20 times for 25 points.
“Ball handling has been a strength of ours but we slipped tonight,” Smith said. “I think they scored 25 points on turnovers. That is unacceptable.”
Despite their turnover struggles, Washington State led for almost the entire game, shooting 52.5% and outrebounding Florida A&M 46-24. The Cougar bench outscored the Rattlers bench 34-18.
Florida A&M (0-9) trailed 41-24 at the end of the first half. The Rattlers got within 11 with 3:19 remaining in the second but were unable to close the gap in a game where they were overmatched on both ends of the court.
Washington State shot 63% in the second half.
M.J Randolph had 21 points for the Rattlers and Rod Melton Jr. added 15.
Florida A&M: The Rattlers have four road games left before their first game at home.
Washington State: The Cougars are on a four-game winning streak and have two more non-conference games before the start of Pac-12 competition.
Florida A&M: The Rattlers play at Seattle on Saturday.
Washington State: The Cougars play Incarnate Word at home on Saturday.
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