PULLMAN — Isaac Bonton scored 21 of his 28 points in the second half to rally Washington State past Texas Southern for a 56-52 victory in the season opener for both teams on Wednesday night.
Bonton scored 16 points during the Cougars’ 19-3 run to take a 50-42 lead with 5:15 left in the game.
Texas Southern answered with with eight straight points to tie it at 50 and tied it again at 52 with 1:01 left in the game.
Aljaž Kunc made a pair of free throws that gave the Cougars a 54-52 lead with 28 seconds left and Bonton made two more foul shots for Washington State to cap the scoring with 10 seconds to go.
Kunc added 11 points and Efe Abogidi in his college debut had nine points and eight rebounds for Washington State.
Texas A&M transfer John Walker III, Galen Alexander and Michael Weathers each scored 10 for Texas Southern.
About four hours before tipoff, Washington State announced on Twitter that coach Kyle Smith, who previously tested positive for COVID-19, had completed his 10-day isolation period and would be on the bench for the game.