SPOKANE — Jabe Mullins scored a career-high 24 points on 8-for-11 shooting from three-point range and Washington State avenged last year’s loss by beating Eastern Washington 82-56 on Monday night.

Last year, Pac-12 Washington State led the Big Sky Eagles (1-4) 40-28 at halftime before Eastern Washington used a 48-point second half to upset the Cougars 76-71.

On Monday, the Cougars (2-2) led 36-21 at the break and kept the pressure on.

Mullins, a former standout at Mount Si High School in Snoqualmie who transferred to WSU from Saint Mary’s in California, sank his fifth three of the second half with 8:55 left and the Cougars led 67-44.

Mullins was 5-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc in the second half.

Fittingly, he wears jersey No. 3.

Washington State entered having made 22 threes in three games before unloading on Eastern Washington with a 15-for-30 shooting performance from deep.


Mouhamed Gueye scored 17 points and TJ Bamba and Justin Powell each had 14 points for the Cougars.

Powell had seven assists and no turnovers. The Cougars made a season-low six turnovers.

“Ball movement always helps,” Powell said. “We went back to practice and fixed it a little bit. It was just great having that ball movement because when the ball is moving around, zipping around like that, it creates open stuff.”

Steele Venters scored 20 points, shooting 5 for 7 from three-point range and Ethan Price added 11 for the Eagles (1-3), who shot 31.1% and dropped to 12-57 in games against WSU.

Eastern coach David Riley said the team’s defensive effort and movement were solid in the first half, but not in the second.

“There were some plays that we didn’t make defensively,” Riley said. “The second half was just poor defense.


“We can’t let those two shooters get wide-open looks like that and in rhythm. But hats off to them, they did make some tough shots early.”

Mullins said, “We were just hungry, like animals in a zoo.”

Virginia rises to 5th in AP poll

Virginia had the difficult task of playing two ranked teams while grieving a tragedy that shook the Cavaliers and the rest of their campus.

Playing a week after three football players were shot to death on a bus, Virginia won the Continental Tire Main Event in Las Vegas over No. 16 Illinois after taking down No. 7 Baylor.

The victory vaulted the Cavaliers from No. 16 to fifth in The Associated Press Top 25 media poll.

“It feels great in the moment, but more so now, we know what truly matters,” said Virginia coach Tony Bennett, an ex-WSU coach. “When you have a momentary celebration like this, it enables you to enjoy it and it seems to matter, but in the big picture, it doesn’t.”

Gonzaga dropped from second to sixth after last week’s loss at Texas, which is ranked fourth, behind No. 1 North Carolina, Houston and Kansas.