PULLMAN – Senior Royce Woolridge scored a season-high 20 points and freshman Que Johnson added 14 to help Washington State beat Pepperdine 78-61 on Sunday.
The Cougars (5-4) opened with a 10-0 burst and led by as many as 16 points in the first half, taking a 41-26 lead at halftime.
“They did a good job defending us,” coach Marty Wilson of Pepperdine (6-5) said. “They are bigger, but they also played more physical and we got frustrated at times, which took us out of our offense.”
WSU outscored the Waves 42-20 in the paint.
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Woolridge, who made 7 of 10 shots, repeatedly took the ball to the hoop.
“I feel that I’ve been a bit too passive, so today I tried to be more aggressive,” the 6-foot-3 guard said.
WSU shot 53.6 percent from the field, compared with 38.5 percent for Pepperdine. But the Cougars made a mere 43.3 percent of their free throws (13 of 30).
“We dodged a bullet, but we need to get in there and work on our free throws,” Woolridge said.