Freshman Malachi Flynn and senior Josh Hawkinson went on a tear when it counted most, combining to score Wazzu’s final 12 points and giving Ernie Kent his first conference victory in nearly a year.
Flynn scored eight of his 16 points in the final 2:13 while Josh Hawkinson poured in 26 points on the night and grabbed eight rebounds. Flynn made 6 of 10 shots and dished six assists, with his biggest buckets coming as he drove the lane.
“For a freshman to play in his first rivalry game and have that kind of poise, that’s just exceptional,” said Kent on the radio with Matt Chazanow after the game.
“Malachi is a prime time player,” added Hawkinson.
So is Hawkinson. In the first half when UW threatened to run away and hide, Hawkinson kept the Cougs within shouting distance. A modest 4-0 run to finish the first half led to something much bigger coming out of the locker room.
Indeed, the start to the second half left the Husky crowd in Seattle with mouths agape, as the Cougs went off on a 14-0 run and eventually a 49-41 lead.
The game tightened up from there but Wazzu still held the advantage much of the second half before UW surged ahead 71-67 with 2:35 left. But that’s when Flynn and Hawkinson took over.
Conor Clifford was the third Cougar in double figures with 14 points.
Washington State had no answer for Husky guard Markelle Fultz -- until the end. Fultz led Washington (7-6, 0-1) with 26 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds, falling just short of the first triple-double in Washington history. But the Cougs held Fultz scoreless over the final 2 1/2 minutes.
The Cougars started the game strong, forging a 14-13 lead about five minutes in. But Wazzu went cold and the Huskies heated up. Washington State trailed 31-18 with seven minutes left and still faced an 11-point deficit with less than two minutes remaining in the half before closing to 40-33 at the break.
- The Cougars snapped an eight-game losing streak in conference openers. Washington State's last conference opening victory was in 2007-08, also over the Huskies in Seattle, 56-52.
- WSU also snapped its 17-game Pac-12 losing streak, a streak that began on Jan. 9 last year with a 99-95 OT loss to Washington in Pullman.
UP NEXT: WSU plays Oregon State in Spokane on Wednesday (8 pm, Pac-12 Network).