From staff reports
PULLMAN – Jabe Mullins is growing comfortable in Washington State colors.
In just his fifth game playing for coach Kyle Smith, Mullins hit six 3-pointers en route to 22 points in the Cougars’ 96-54 win over Detroit Mercy in a nonconference game at Beasley Coliseum on Friday.
It was the second straight performance of 20-plus points for Mullins, a junior who spent the previous two seasons at Saint Mary’s.
He scored all of his 24 points from beyond the arc in a win against Eastern Washington on Monday.
“I was feeling good after last game,” Mullins said. “Played well, coming in here just real confident shooting on my home floor.”
The Cougars (3-2) set a program record with 19 3-pointers. T.J. Bamba and Justin Powell made four 3-pointers apiece and scored 18 and 17 points, respectively.
Mael Hamon-Crespin made three 3-pointers off the bench, including the record setter for a 96-47 lead with 2 minutes, 14 seconds left in the contest.
“Honestly, we just want to get the win and don’t care who scores or who gets the praise at the end of the game,” Mullins said. “We just want to come in here and win and take (care of) our business.
“It’s just fun out there, man. We share the ball. We don’t care who scores. It’s just fun when we all shoot well and we’re all doing our thing.”
“We’ve got that kind of personnel,” Smith said “… Get an open 3, take it, and that should set up everything else.”
Mullins hit 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to stretch WSU’s lead to 13-2 with 16:13 left in the first half.
The Cougars’ perimeter shooting quickly turned the game into a rout. Another Mullins 3-pointer gave WSU a 40-13 lead with 61/2 minutes left before halftime.
Justin Powell hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to end the first half and give the Cougars a 56-23 lead at the break.
“When we shoot it that well,” Smith said, “we can really separate.”
Jayden Stone paced Detroit Mercy (3-4) with 20 points.
The Titans’ Antoine Davis, who entered the game third in the nation in scoring average at 24.7 points per game, was limited to 15 points on 6-for-9 shooting, including a 1-for-3 effort on 3-pointers.
The game served as the final tuneup before opening Pac-12 Conference play at Oregon in Eugene at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
“I think we feel great right now,” Mullins said. “We’re ready to go. We’ve got our groove right now and looking forward to keeping it up.”
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