PULLMAN — Robert Franks scored 24 points grabbing eight rebounds as Washington State beat California 82-59 on Thursday in a clash of the Pacific 12 Conference’s winless teams.
Franks scored five quick points to open the second half with a jump shot and a 3-pointer wrapped around a lost ball turnover that put WSU ahead by double digits barely a minute into the final period. The Cougars lead stretched to as many as 29 points from there.
Viont’e Daniels scored 11 points for Washington State (8-9, 1-3). Marvin Cannon and CJ Elleby also scored 11.
Justice Sueing scored 15 points for California (5-12, 0-5). Matt Bradley added 14 points for the Bears.
The Cougars finished the first half strong, going on a 14-4 run in the last 5:30. Ahmed Ali sparked the Cougars with a 3 and Franks finished a 3-point play on the next possession. WSU capped the run with layups from Franks and Jeff Pollard to build a 42-33 halftime lead.
In the second half, Cannon followed a Franks missed 3 with a vicious one-handed dunk bringing the home crowd to their feet.
Elleby beat the shot clock for a 3 before the buzzer sounded as WSU closed the game with a final 10-0 run to secure a comfortable 26-point lead.
The Cougars still face an uphill battle in the Pac-12. WSU is expected to finish at the bottom of the standings. WSU stays home to play a struggling Stanford team that is led by KZ Okpala who averages 18 points per game.