Franks scores 32 points in WSU’s first loss

Aggies snapped Cougars' six-game winning streak to start regular season

WSU+junior+guard+Viont%27e+Daniels+goes+up+for+a+shot+against+University+of+California%2C+Davis+on+Saturday+in+Beasley+Coliseum.

EZEKIEL NELSON | The Daily Evergreen

WSU junior guard Viont'e Daniels goes up for a shot against University of California, Davis on Saturday in Beasley Coliseum.

RYAN MOSHER, Evergreen reporter

WSU men’s basketball was defeated by University of California, Davis, on Saturday in Beasley Coliseum. This was the second-ever meeting between the Cougars and UC Davis with the Aggies undefeated in the all-time series.

“I didn’t think we were very energized, we were sluggish, heavy-legged, stepped slow defensively,” WSU Head Coach Ernie Kent said after the game. “And really didn’t give [junior forward Robert Franks] a lot of help offensively — Malachi kind of got going late.”

To start the game, UC Davis (5-2) went up by a score of 4-0, and held the lead for the entire game. The Cougars (6-1) were unable to tie the score, and never came closer than two points behind. With 12 points, Franks was responsible for almost half of WSU’s score in the first.

“I thought UC Davis just played tremendous,” Kent said. “They were locked in and focused.”

Franks continued as the Cougars’ lead scorer with 16 points in the second half, setting a new personal single-game record with 32 total points. Sophomore guard Malachi Flynn brought the Cougars past the 50-point mark with a three-pointer — his first of three in less than three minutes.

UC Davis was ahead by 10 with a little over three minutes to play when a media timeout was called. After the shot-clock ran out on the Aggies due to a defensive stand by WSU, only two-and-a-half minutes remained in the game.

Another three points from Flynn again brought the Cougars within 10 points, but the deficit was too much for WSU to come back. The final score was 81-67 as the Cougars snapped their six-game winning streak to start the season.

“I think it was just us not coming prepared to play today. That’s all I can really say, we weren’t prepared,” Franks said.

Flynn also said the team needed to come prepared to play.

“We got to get back to work, we’re not as good as we thought we were,” he said. “We’re definitely a good team, but just come in and think we’re going to beat teams just off our talent. We got to be ready to work every game.”

Franks finished with a career-high 32 points, 20 of which were scored in the second half. He also had eight rebounds in the game. Flynn scored 19 points, despite only having one scoring play in the first period. Fifteen of those 19 points came from three pointers.

“Franks was the only offense we had for a while, he carried us in the game,” Kent said. “We weren’t moving, we weren’t cutting, we didn’t get a lot done on the floor offensively or defensively.”

Next up for WSU men’s basketball is a short trip to University of Idaho with tipoff scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday in Moscow.

“I credit those students for coming out today and supporting us,” Franks said, “and I wish they’d come back because you know we’re going to need them this year.”