Franks powers Cougs past Golden Bears

Senior scores 24 points in return as WSU beats Cal 82-59 in Pullman



Senior forward Robert Franks shoots a three-pointer during the game against Cal on Thursday at Beasley Coliseum.

ISAAC SEMMLER, Evergreen reporter

WSU men’s basketball ended a six-game losing streak Thursday night by defeating Cal 82-59.

The win saw senior forward Robert Franks return to the court for the first time since Dec. 23. Franks came off the bench, but had an impact all night as the crowd in Beasley Coliseum rose to their feet nearly every time he knocked down a shot. He led the Cougars with 24 points on 10-18 shooting in 31 minutes of action.

“It just felt great to be back,” Franks said. “While [the team was] on the road I’ve been working really hard and expected to play a lot of minutes. It felt like I belonged tonight.”

WSU got off to a hot start and opened up a seven-point lead about halfway through the first half. The Cougars were shooting 70 percent from the field as sophomore small forward Marvin Cannon had seven points.

Cal freshman guard Matt Bradley harassed the Cougar defense in the opening 20 minutes, scoring 10 points and shooting 66 percent from behind the three-point line. However, Bradley missed a key layup that would have brought his team within a point of WSU with three minutes left in the half.

Despite being held scoreless for nearly five minutes at one point, the Cougars managed to go on a 12-2 run to lead 42-33 at halftime.

Cal opened up the scoring in the second half but Franks answered right back with a two of his own. He then knocked down a three-pointer off a Cal turnover to increase the Cougars lead to 12 points.

The Golden Bears lacked any sort of rhythm both offensively and defensively, turning the ball over five times in as many minutes to allow the Cougars to jump out to a 20 point lead.

WSU continued to produce on the offense end of the court as the Cougars built a 29 point lead late in the second half to earn their first conference victory this season.

The Golden Bears struggled scoring the ball all night as they shot 39.3 percent from the field.

Five Cougars finished with double digit points as the team scored over 80 points for the first time in six games.

WSU returns to the court noon Saturday to battle Stanford at Beasley Coliseum. The game can also be seen live on Pac-12 Networks.