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.