Cougs beat Nicholls State by 17 points

WSU starts year off with a win; Franks scores 31 points

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Cougs beat Nicholls State by 17 points

Redshirt sophomore forward Arinze Chidom drives to the hoop against Nicholls State on Sunday in Beasley Coliseum.

Redshirt sophomore forward Arinze Chidom drives to the hoop against Nicholls State on Sunday in Beasley Coliseum.

GEORGE RODRIGUEZ | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

Redshirt sophomore forward Arinze Chidom drives to the hoop against Nicholls State on Sunday in Beasley Coliseum.

GEORGE RODRIGUEZ | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

GEORGE RODRIGUEZ | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

Redshirt sophomore forward Arinze Chidom drives to the hoop against Nicholls State on Sunday in Beasley Coliseum.

COLIN CONNOLLY, Evergreen reporter

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WSU men’s basketball got its first official win of the year, beating Nicholls State University 89-72 Sunday in Beasley Coliseum.

Senior forward Robert Franks Jr. was a big reason why the Cougars (1-0) came out ahead against the Colonels (1-2). He scored 31 points and managed to grab 11 rebounds to propel WSU to a season opening victory.

“I give high praise to my teammates for staying in my ear and staying aggressive,” Franks said.

The Cougars had a terrible night from the free throw line and with shooting in general, Franks said. WSU shot 57.9 percent from the free-throw line and made just 29.6 percent of its basket from behind the three-point line..

Head Coach Ernie Kent shared a similar sentiment and thought the Cougars left a lot of points out on the court but overall he was happy with the victory.

“We kind of knocked ourselves out of rhythm in that first half,” Kent said. “I thought we were too much one-on-one.”

Besides the missed three-pointers and free throws, the Cougars were able to have some success particularly on the defensive side of the ball.

WSU came out in the second half with a defensive wave, trying to get as many stops as possible. Finding a defense that worked against the Colonels took a little bit of time, but when the Cougars got into the 1-3-1 zone they made more than a few consecutive stops.

Redshirt sophomore forward Arinze Chidom used his length to force turnovers and help create 29 transition points for the team.

“The defense was spot-on,” Chidom said. “We are a transition team.”

However, WSU gave up 19 three-pointers, and Chidom said they need to do a better job communicating and closing out on shooters.

He said it was the Cougars’ first game and they hope to improve on those things in upcoming games.

WSU’s next game is on the road and Kent said he is excited to travel for the first time this season.

“Teams usually come together on the road, so I am looking forward to it,” Kent said.

The Cougars will face Seattle University 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Showare Center in Kent, Washington.