PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Every time he put the ball up it seemed like it was going in.
CJ Elleby scored a career-high 34 points and had his fourth double-double of the season to lead Washington State to a 79-67 victory over in-state rival Washington on Sunday.
After scoring just seven points on 2-of-12 shooting in his team’s 66-49 loss vs. Arizona, Elleby made 9 of 16 from the field, including 6 of 9 from beyond the arc, hit 10 of 10 from the free-throw line and grabbed 10 rebounds.
“Honestly, the career high doesn’t really matter to me. If we had lost and I had had the same amount of points I would have been pretty upset,” Elleby said. “But we got the win and that’s what matters. We protect the house. The Huskies came in and obviously it is a big game for Pullman and the Cougars. We got the job done and that’s what matters.”
Isaac Bonton scored 12 points and Noah Williams and Jervae Robinson each added 10 for the Cougars, who outrebounded Washington 44-33.
George Raveling, one of the most distinguished coaches in Cougar basketball history, was in the house to watch Washington State (14-10, 5-6 Pac-12) break its four-game losing streak against the Huskies.
“What an honor to have him come back and see your team play well,” said Washington State coach Kyle Smith. “He just speaks about how his time spent here was one of his favorite times as a coach and it was good to get that done for him.”
Isaiah Stewart, who averages 17.7 points and 8.8 rebounds a game for Washington (12-12, 2-9), was held to 11 points and seven rebounds. Nahziah Carter led the Huskies with 18 points. Jaden McDaniels scored 16 and Marcus Tsohonis had 13.
Down by six with a little over two minutes to play, Carter made a layup for Washington to cut the Cougar lead to 69-65. On the next play, Elleby answered with a basket to extend the lead to six and start a 8-0 Cougar run that put the Huskies away.
In the first, Washington State jumped out to a 21-13 lead as Elleby scored eight points, including two 3-pointers, during a 14-3 run.
Washington responded by holding the Cougars scoreless for 5 1/2 minutes during a 15-4 run to take a 26-25 lead.
In the final minutes before the break, Elleby scored eight points and Bonton made a jumper at the buzzer to bring the Cougar lead to 38-33. Elleby had 18 in the first half.
At halftime, Washington State hoisted Raveling’s name to the rafters where it joins the jersey of Klay Thompson, which was retired earlier this year.
Raveling was the first African American to coach men’s basketball in the Pac-12. He spent 12 years in Pullman, from 1972-83 and took the Cougars to NCAA Tournaments in 1980 and ’83. The 1980 tournament was Washington State’s first since 1941.
He won 167 games at WSU and was named the Pac-8/10 Conference Coach of the Year twice.
“I hope that I did a better job at coaching them to be winners in the game of life than winners on the basketball court,” Raveling said when asked what he hoped his players took away from his time at Washington State. “The most valuable possession a parent has is their child and they send their child to you and expect you to send them back a man. And this is an awesome responsibility you have.”
BIG PICTURE: After a tough loss to Arizona, the Cougars bounced back with a win over in-state rival Washington. They snapped a four-game skid against the Huskies, having fallen in the season series in each of the last two seasons.
APPLE CUP TRADITION: Sunday marked the 290th game in the Apple Cup Series. This was just the fourth of the last 155 games in the series that have been decided by more than 8 points.
UP NEXT: Washington State plays at UCLA on Thursday.
Current Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Standings (After Games of Sat. 2/8 and Sun. 2/9)