HONOLULU – Paul Jesperson scored 18 points, Wes Washpun had 16 and Jeremy Morgan added 14 to help Northern Iowa beat Washington State 63-59 in a consolation semifinal of the Diamond Head Classic late Wednesday night.
The Panthers (8-4) avoided their first back-to-back losses of the season despite being outrebounded 31-20. They bounced back from a 16-point loss to tournament-host Hawaii in Tuesday’s opening round.
Washpun, the reigning Missouri Valley Conference player of the week, had team-highs of five rebounds and four assists for Northern Iowa, which made 19 of its 23 free throws. Jesperson, Morgan and Klint Carlson combined to make 14 of 14 from the charity stripe.
Josh Hawkinson scored 14 points, Ike Iroegbu 12 and Derrien King 10 for Washington State (7-4), which was just 4 of 5 from the free-throw line.
There were 10 ties and 19 lead changes.
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