PULLMAN – Freshman CJ Elleby scored a season-high 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds with four assists as Washington State beat Cal State Northridge 103-94 in nonconference men’s basketball on Tuesday night.
Robert Franks added 22 points and seven rebounds for Washington State (4-1). Viont’e Daniels had 14 points, going 4 for 8 from 3-point range.
Ahmed Ali’s layup in the closing seconds put Washington State over the century mark for the first time in regulation since March 2, 2002, against Centenary.
Lamine Diane had a double-double in the first half and finished with 32 points and 18 rebounds for Cal State Northridge (1-4). Darius Brown II scored 25 points with six assists and Rodney Henderson Jr. added 16 points. Diane played with four fouls for most of the second half and fouled out in the final minutes.
WSU went on an 8-2 run to end the first half on a fast-break dunk from Elleby and two 3s, one from Daniels and another from Elleby at the buzzer. It gave the Cougars a 54-36 lead at the half.
The Matadors played well through the early minutes of the second half and cut their deficit to 13 points several times. The Cougars reasserted control and led 79-57 at the midway point of the half.
The Cougars led 97-80 near the 2-minute mark before the Matadors cut into the lead once more.
CSUN cut the lead to nine in the last minute on a 3-pointer by Brown. Ali hit two free throws on the next possession for the Cougars and Brown followed with a steal and an easy layup to close the game.
Elleby, a freshman from Seattle’s Cleveland High, had a previous high of 12 points in each of the Cougars’ first two games.
Diane, a 6-foot-7 redshirt freshman from Dakar, Senegal, averaged 24.8 points and 9.8 rebounds per game through CSUN’s first four games. He had a high of 29 points in a victory over Tennessee State last week.
Franks entered the game third in the nation in scoring at 28.3 points per game.
The Cougars have won all four matchups between the teams.
Washington State plays at New Mexico State at 6 p.m. Saturday and returns home for a home game against Idaho on Dec. 5, also at 6 p.m.