Washington State

St. Joe's blows 20-point first half lead to Washington State

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St. Joe's blows 20-point first half lead to Washington State


FULLERTON, Calif. — Malachi Flynn hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 5 seconds remaining, lifting Washington State to a 75-71 victory over Saint Joseph's after the Cougars rallied from a 20-point first-half deficit in the opening round of the Wooden Legacy on Thursday.

Robert Franks scored 19 points and Viont'e Daniels added 17 points for the Cougars (4-0), who earned their third comeback win of the season.

Shavar Newkirk led Saint Joe's with 24 points, but he turned the ball over with 2.5 seconds left and he missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

The Cougars made 16 3-pointers, led by Daniels who sank 5 of 6. Flynn and Carter Skaggs had three each.

Saint Joe's took a 36-16 lead in the first half after a 23-0 run. The Cougars missed 10 straight shots over a 6 1/2-minute stretch and eventually trailed 38-24 at halftime.

Washington State played like a different team in the final 20 minutes, making 10 3-pointers.

After Franks hit a 3-pointer, Newkirk made four straight free throws to pull Saint Joe's into a 69-all tie.

Franks made a free throw and missed the second for a 70-69 lead. Newkirk's two free throws gave the Hawks (2-2) their last lead at 71-70.

Flynn tossed up the go-ahead 3 with the shot clock winding down and Daniels made two free throws to seal the win with 2 seconds left.

Playing on Thanksgiving hasn't worked out well for the Hawks. They also lost on the holiday to Western Kentucky in the 2014 NIT Season Tip-Off.

The Cougars came in averaging 48.3 points in the second half compared to just 28.3 in the first.

Saint Joseph's: Moves on to play Harvard in the consolation round on Friday.

Washington State: Advances to face No. 21 Saint Mary's in the championship bracket on Friday.

St. Joe's to open Wooden Legacy Tournament against Washington State on Thanksgiving

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St. Joe's to open Wooden Legacy Tournament against Washington State on Thanksgiving

This year, Turkey Day entails Hawks basketball.

Saint Joseph's has drawn Washington State in the first round of the Wooden Legacy Tournament, which opens on Thanksgiving, Nov. 23, on the campus of Cal State Fullerton. The game is set for 6:30 p.m. on ESPN3. Win or lose, Phil Martelli's team will play the next day against either Saint Mary's or Harvard.

Cal State Fullerton, Georgia, San Diego State and Sacramento State fill the other side of the eight-team bracket. SJU is guaranteed three games and will also play one of those four schools, depending on results. The final day of the tournament is Sunday, Nov. 26.

The injury bug took a big bite out of the Hawks' 2016-2017 campaign that resulted in a disappointing 11-20 record. However, all of the team's key players are back for another year, and with health and experience figure to improve on that mark.

Shavar Newkirk and Lamarr Kimble, SJU's two leading scorers from last season, should both be good to go in the fall after suffering season-ending injuries.