WSU leads against Idaho State

Cougars stay perfect in Beasley, Elleby has 23 points



Senior guard Jaylen Shead calls a play against Idaho University on Sunday Afternoon at Beasley Coliseum.

RYAN ROOT, Evergreen reporter

The Cougars men’s basketball team (2-1, 0-0) defeated the Idaho State Bengals (2-2, 0-0) 72-61 after a two-way clinic performed by sophomore forward CJ Elleby.

Three players scored double digit points for WSU. Senior forward Jeff Pollard celebrated his birthday with a season high of 11 points.

“Credit to my teammates for finding me in the post,” Pollard said. “I just really felt comfortable.”

Sophomore forward CJ Elleby lead the Cougars in points, rebounds and steals with 23 points, eight rebounds and seven steals respectively. Seven steals is a new single game career high for him and this is the most steals in a game from a Cougar since 1999.

“I was being aggressive in the passing lanes.” Elleby said. “On defense it [worked out].”

The Cougars lead Idaho State the entire game. This is the second occurrence this season. WSU only led by five points at the half, head coach Kyle Smith said the team’s effort to extend the lead in the second half was excellent.

“Five points is pretty tight,” Smith said, “[if we] don’t buckle down that could be a one possession game.”

Idaho State junior guard Tarik Cool came into the game averaging 19.7 points per game this season. The Cougars held Cool to zero points in the first half and held him to two points for the entire game. Those two points came from his lone trip to the free throw line.

“Keeping him off the foul line, with anyone it’s important,” Smith said. “We emphasize that every day.”

Senior guard Jaylen Shead took a fall with five minutes left in the game and injured his leg. He was assisted off the court and benched for the rest of the game. He finished with eight points.

“Hopefully it’s nothing too major,” Smith said. “[We] can’t afford to lose his ball handling.”

WSU’s free throw percentage improved from its last two games with 81 percent made. WSU’s field goal percentage was 44 percent and Idaho State’s field goal percentage was 38 percent.

The next game for the Cougars is against Omaha University at 4 p.m. Thursday at Beasley Coliseum. The game can be viewed on Pac-12 network.