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Game rewind: Flynn’s clutch play helps WSU close out Dawgs

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Senior forward Josh Hawkinson finished with 26 points and eight rebounds while shooting 55 percent from the floor (10-18).

Senior forward Josh Hawkinson finished with 26 points and eight rebounds while shooting 55 percent from the floor (10-18).

Senior forward Josh Hawkinson finished with 26 points and eight rebounds while shooting 55 percent from the floor (10-18).

CHRIS ARNESON | Evergreen columnist

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Led by freshman guard Malachi Flynn’s eight points with under five minutes to go in the game, WSU bounded past the hometown Huskies 79-74 to ring in the new year with a conference-opening win.

Along with ‘Doogie’ Flynn’s refined performance in crunch time, the Cougars were aided by the efforts of senior forward Josh Hawkinson. Hawk not only gave WSU 26 points and eight rebounds, he also played 38 of 40 possible minutes and shot an efficient 10 for 18 from the floor.

Senior guards Ike Iroegbu and Charles Callison also aided Head Coach Ernie Kent with valuable minutes played from his starting lineup, tallying 35 and 36 minutes played respectively while tasked with covering UW’s Diaper Dandy freshman guard Markelle Fultz.

Fultz dropped 26 points on Sunday and is listed as a potential No. 1 NBA draft pick. Fultz  navigates the floor with the maturity of one of the three wise men and nearly recorded the first triple-double in UW program history, finishing with nine rebounds and 11 assists.

The 6-4 floor general is still in the initial stages of development, a mere silkworm still living in the cocoon Romar built on Montlake, and missed two shots in the final two minutes of the game while being hounded by Hawkinson on the perimeter.

The win gives WSU momentum to build off of as it returns home to face Oregon State on Wednesday.  The team fell behind multiple times on Sunday, down by 13 points 10 minutes into the game and trailed 71-67 with 2:34 remaining, but rallied to retake the lead and came away with its first road victory since 2015.

Sitting 1-0 in conference play after a trying non-conference slate of performances, the Apple Cup win is a nod to Kent and his staff.

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Game rewind: Flynn’s clutch play helps WSU close out Dawgs