TJ Bamba scored 22 points and Mouhamed Gueye added 14 with 10 rebounds as Washington State turned a strong-shooting first half into a 68-47 victory Wednesday against visiting Northern Kentucky at Pullman, Wash.
Justin Powell scored 11 points as the Cougars (4-4) pulled off the victory after opening Pac-12 Conference play last week with a pair of defeats.
Trevon Faulkner scored 11 points as the Norse (5-5) saw their three-game winning streak come to an end. Marques Warrick scored 10 points as Northern Kentucky's defeat came after a pair of victories to open Horizon League play last week.
Washington State turned it loose early, shooting 62.5 percent from the field in the first half, including 5 of 9 from 3-point range (55.6 percent). The Cougars shot 52.0 percent in the game.
Gueye scored 12 points in the first half for Washington State, while Bamba and Powell each scored 11. The trio was a combined 13 of 19 (68.4 percent) from the field before halftime.
Washington State led by double digits for the first time at 25-15 with 8:09 remaining in the first half and held a 39-23 advantage at the break. The Cougars pushed their lead past 20 points for the first time at 50-29 with 11:42 remaining on a layup by DJ Rodman.
On the defensive end, Bamba, with some help from Rodman, kept Warrick in check. Warrick, who entered with an average of 21.6 points per game, was 3 of 9 from the field and didn't make his first basket until 6:20 remained in the game.
The Norse's Chris Brandon entered with 11.7 rebounds per game but grabbed just one board against the Cougars, who held a 41-12 rebounding advantage. Northern Kentucky managed just one offensive rebound.
Washington State's third-leading scorer Jabe Mullins (14.2 points) missed his third consecutive game with a knee injury.
--Field Level Media