For a while it looked like WSU might get buried early – everything Gonzaga’s Kyle Wiltjer threw up went in. He had a startling 20 points in the game’s first 10 minutes. But WSU battled back and limited him to just two points the rest of the way, with Junior Longrus the biggest reason why.
WSU closed to six just before the first half and trailed by eight at the break.
Trailing by 15 points with 12:38 remaining, the Cougars closed to within six with about five minutes remaining but Gonzaga hit a three and the Cougs never seriously threatened the rest of the way.
WSU shot 40 percent from the floor for the game, and 1-9 from 3-point range.
The Cougs also had just one assist in the first half, and four for the game.
Josh Hawkinson saw his double-double streak snapped (four points, six boards) but Gonzaga held only a narrow edge in scoring inside the paint, at 36-32. Conor Clifford had nine points and Valentine Izundu was held scoreless – it was other Cougs scoring close to the bucket.
Que Johnson led the Cougs with 18 points, Ike Iroegbu had 17 and Charles Callison scored 10.
Gonzaga’s hot shooting cooled off after the first 10 minutes – the Bulldogs shot 43 percent from the floor and 33 percent from downtown for the game -- but they attempted three times as many treys as the Cougs and connected on seven to WSU’s one.
Washington State (4-1) hosts Portland State (3-3) on Sunday at 1 p.m. The game will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.