JOSH HAWKINSON (USA Today Sports/James Snook)

WSU hoops: Griz just what the doctor ordered as Cougs cruise to 24-point win

NO, IT WASN'T a stern test as far as basketball games go. But after Washington State got rocked by No. 22 Creighton on Friday, a 24-point crimson win over Montana Saturday was just what the doctor ordered.

Washington State (3-1) decided the game early over winless Montana (0-4) in a consolation round game in the Paradise Jam tournament in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

How early? Josh Hawkinson had a double-double by halftime. 

Hawkinson's third double-double of the season and 43rd of his career featured 29 points and 14 rebounds, with 17 points and 10 rebounds at the break.  Hawkinson's 29 points were a career-high

Conor Clifford (12) Malachi Flynn (11) and Charles Callison (10) joined Hawkinson in double figures for the Cougs.

Wazzu never trailed, and led 40-21 at halftime.   Wazzu's defense showed up, with Montana shooting 21 percent in the first half, and 35 percent for the game. Washington State also won the battle on the boards, 40-26.

There wasn't any second half letdown with a large lead, the Cougs shot 62 percent over the final 20 minutes and took their largest lead with under two minutes remaining.

WSU faces Loyola (Chicago) for fourth place in the tourney on Monday at noon Pacific (no TV).  Loyola topped Oral Roberts 78-53 on Saturday.


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