Washington State hangs on late to beat Rider 94-80.
Jordan Allen scored 24 points, making 7 of 14 from 3-point range, for Rider (4-4).
After being down 22-15 with 10 minutes left in the first half, WSU went on a 23-2 run spanning 6:07 for a 38-24 lead with 3:50 left in the first half. The run featured back-to-back 3s from Franks and Carter Skaggs, with an acrobatic score from Elleby on a fast break.
WSU was without veteran Viont’e Daniels due to a concussion and Arinze Chidom, who announced last week he’s transferring.
Coach Ernie Kent emphasized how much adversity WSU has had to overcome and how the team has dealt with it.
“I was just so proud of them that their character shined through tonight in the middle of what some people would call a lot of adversity,” Kent said. “They just relaxed, it was next man up and they let us get after them and make some defensive adjustments.”
The Cougars jumped on the Broncs with an 11-0 run in the first three minutes of the second half for a 56-35 lead. During the run, Cannon drove the lane for a two-handed slam and Elleby also had a powerful dunk.
Rider would not go away with an 11-2 run, cutting the lead to 12, featuring 3’s from Allen and Dimencio Vaughn. Washington State scored the next six points, but the Cougars had five turnovers in the next three minutes.
The Broncs were within seven points, 81-74, with 2:40 remaining, but the Cougars closed it out by making 11 free throws in the final 1:19.
Both teams were in the bonus at the 10-minute mark of the second half and the double-bonus with seven minutes remaining. The Cougars had 51 free-throw attempts compared to Rider’s 24.
Rider: The Broncs continue their long road trip, traveling over 8,731 miles, as they head to Des Moines, Iowa.
Washington State: The win came at a crucial time for the Cougars, coming off a loss to Montana State. WSU plays one more home game, against SIU-Edwardsville (2-6), before going on the road for the Las Vegas Classic.
“They (Davante Cooper and Cannon) grew up tonight, they came to the party, they advanced, they made us deeper, they got better, and they got their confidence,” Kent said.
Rider plays Drake on Wednesday night.
Washington State hosts SIU Edwardsville on Wednesday.