Josh Hawkinson, coming off a poor performance against No. 13 Gonzaga in Washington State’s only loss, led all players with 24 points and 10 rebounds in the Cougars’ 91-67 rout of Portland State.
PULLMAN – Portland State was one of the few NCAA Division I basketball programs that offered Josh Hawkinson a scholarship.
On Sunday, Hawkinson provided the Vikings with a painful reminder how dynamic a player they lost to Washington State.
Hawkinson, coming off a poor performance against No. 13 Gonzaga in WSU’s only loss, led all players with 24 points and 10 rebounds in the Cougars’ 91-67 rout of Portland State.
“He was the best player on the floor,” said Portland State coach Tyler Geving.
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“Last game was one of my worst games ever,” Hawkinson said. “I kind of let my team down defensively.”
Hawkinson, a double-double machine the past two seasons, had four points and six rebounds against Gonzaga. Against the Vikings, he sank 10 of 11 shots, including all eight attempts in the first half.
“I didn’t know if he’d be this good,” Geving admitted.
WSU coach Ernie Kent said, “It was important to get Josh back on his game. I sent him a text after the Gonzaga game and just talked about toughness and talked about maybe it was my fault not calling his number more (for shots) to get him a better rhythm in the game.”
Hawkinson, a Shorewood High product, played 23 minutes, the most of any WSU starter.
“He kicked our butt today,” Geving said. “He set the tone for them. I thought he was really good.”
The points for and allowed were season bests for the Cougars (5-1) and season worsts for the Vikings (3-4).
“Tough one,” Geving said. “Give a lot of credit to them.”
Arizona State graduate transfer Calaen Robinson, one of 12 transfers on the Portland State roster, led the Vikings with 19 points. Isaiah Pineiro had 14 off the bench. Cameron Forte, who had been leading the Vikings with 21.7 points and 10.0 rebounds per game, was limited to nine points and four rebounds.
The Cougars shot 53.2 percent from the floor and held Portland State to 41 percent. The Vikings made 15.4 percent of their three-pointers, compared with 38.1 for the Cougars before 1,806 fans.
“We challenged them (the Cougars) to make some necessary adjustments after the Gonzaga game,” Kent said. “Those adjustments were finishing better in transition, particularly when you have 2-on-1, 3-on-2, because we felt like we left so many plays on the floor that last game.
“And just be a little bit tougher defensively.”
At UCLA 83, Long Beach St. 76
Bryce Alford scored 24 points, tying his season high with five three-pointers, and the Bruins (6-3) beat the 49ers (5-5).
UCLA’s Isaac Hamilton had a season-high 21 points.
Colorado 88, at Colorado St. 77
Josh Scott collected 21 points and 11 rebounds as the Buffaloes (7-1) rallied past the Rams (5-3).
Wesley Gordon scored a season-high 15 points with 12 rebounds for Colorado, which outscored the Rams 49-25 after halftime to win its seventh in a row.
At Eastern Washington 104, Great Falls 64
Cody Benzel, a 2014 graduate of Ferris High School in Spokane, scored a career-high 23 points and the Eagles (4-3), who started mostly reserves, routed the NAIA Argonauts.
• Nate Britt matched his career high with 17 points and No. 9 North Carolina routed visiting Davidson 98-65 to improve to 7-1.