Franks' double-double leads WSU past SIUE 89-73
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By RICKY HESTER
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) Robert Franks scored 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season as Washington State beat SIU-Edwardsville 89-73 on Wednesday night.
CJ Elleby added 18 points and eight rebounds for Washington State (7-3) despite being in foul trouble for the last ten minutes of the game.
David McFarland scored 24 points and grabbed seven rebounds before fouling out for SIUE (2-7). Brandon Jackson added 13 points and five rebounds.
Elleby helped spark a 10-0 run with a fast-break layup and an emphatic block on the other end, setting up Pollard for a layup. Ahmed Ali added a 3 on their next possession.
WSU created some distance after a 15-2 run over the course of 3:47 to build a commanding 16-point lead with 5:19 remaining in the first half. During the run, Franks had back-to-back buckets underneath the rim and Davante Cooper capped the run with another layup in the lane off an assist from Ali.
WSU shot 57 percent from the field in the first half, knocking down 16 of 28 shots.
"It's very important this time of the year to win games. As you are winning those games you need to play people and develop as much as you can, try to clean up and work on as much stuff as you can," WSU coach Ernie Kent said.
Ali lifted WSU in the second half hitting a 3 while being fouled. Tyresse Williford picked up his fourth foul on the play for SIUE while being called for a technical arguing with officials.
Ali made 1 of 2 technical foul shots and made another FT to complete the four-point play. Franks capped a 7-0 run after making two free throws on the next possession to give WSU a 19-point lead 64-45 with 12:35 remaining.
"I thought we were ok defensively, I thought there were a lot of breakdowns, we had different combinations on the floor and usually that's a result of not communicating and guys not comfortable talking because they haven't been in the game much," Kent added.
The frustration for SIUE continued after Christian Ellis picked up his fifth foul before being ejected. Two players for SIUE fouled out and had 29 fouls total.
"In the first half I thought we turned the ball over a little more than what we have done this season. I thought we were a little more aggressive in the second half and got to the free throw line, but we couldn't convert," SIUE coach Jon Harris said.
SIUE: SIUE is on its longest road trip of the season, traveling nearly 4,500 miles across the country.
Washington State: WSU remains undefeated on its home court, but its next home game is against California on Jan. 17.
SIUE plays CSUN on Saturday.
Washington State plays San Diego on Saturday.
Updated December 20, 2018