Men’s basketball struggles continue

From staff reports

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The WSU men’s basketball team had trouble finding the bottom of the basket against San Jose State, leading to a Coug defeat.

The Spartans (2-3, 0-0) were too much for the Cougs (3-3, 0-0) to handle Sunday in Beasley Coliseum as they came out victorious with a score of 88-76.

WSU shook up their starting lineup Sunday afternoon by inserting senior guard Charles Callison in place of junior forward Derrien King. The lineup change paid some dividends as Callison put up 12 points to help the Cougs. Senior forward Josh Hawkinson added his fifth double-double of the season and 45th of his career, which moved him into second on the all-time WSU double-double list.

The Spartans got an early lead in the first half and never looked back. There were only three lead changes in the game and they were all before the 10-minute mark of the first half.

SJSU was led by a very balanced scoring attack with five players in double figures, including 20 points from sophomore forward Ryan Welage. Welage was a problem all day for WSU as he was scoring in a variety of ways and also came down with 11 rebounds.

The Spartans went into the half with a lead of 44-38. They then immediately got two quick baskets to start the second half and the Cougs could never recover.

WSU struggled putting the ball in the basket the entire game, shooting just 38 percent from the field (12-31) in the first half. It did not get any better in the second half, shooting 34 percent (11-32). The looks were there for the Cougs; they just were not falling.

The Cougs also lost the battle on the boards as the Spartans outrebounded them by a margin of 11, which proved to be a deciding factor as SJSU turned that into 16 second-chance points.

WSU also had little contribution from their reserves, only getting 10 bench points compared to the Spartans 36.

Freshman guard Malachi Flynn was a bright spot for the Cougs, tying his career high with 18 points on five of seven shooting and also added four assists.

The Cougars will look to bounce back Wednesday against the Utah Valley Wolverines in Beasley Coliseum at 7 p.m. The game can also be seen on the Pac 12 Network.

Reporting by Garrett Gluck