Nov. 15, 2008
PULLMAN, Wash. - Senior Aron Baynes scored 14 points in 14 minutes and his classmate Caleb Forrest added 13 points, as the Washington State University men's basketball defeated Mississippi Valley State, 76-25, Saturday in its season opener at Friel Court.
The Cougars (1-0) improved to 88-20 all time in season openers and have won 21-consecutive Friel Court openers. The Delta Devils (0-2) traveled to Pullman after falling to Arizona State, 80-64, Friday evening in Tempe.
Forrest's 13 points tied his career high, which he set last season against Mississippi Valley State. For the second-consecutive season Aron Baynes led the team in scoring in the season opener.
Six Washington State freshmen played in the game, including Klay Thompson, who became the first Cougar freshman to start a season opener since Kyle Weaver started against Montana State, Nov. 19, 2004.
The Cougars established their game plan right off the bat, jumping out to a 28-0 lead before the Delta Devils first got on the board with 8:28 to go in the first half. At the half, WSU held a 41-11 advantage.
"I challenged the guys before the game to really come out and establish what we're about and really kind of fly around in our system, they certainly did that," WSU Head Coach Tony Bennett said. "We did a good job rebounding, getting a body on people. I don't want to make too big of a deal about it, but to start the game, I liked our mindset."
Eight of the nine players to see the court in the first half for WSU scored, including eight points by freshman Klay Thompson, three points by his classmate Marcus Capers and two points by redshirt freshman Abe Lodwick, all getting on the scoreboard in their debuts.
The 25 points allowed by WSU is the fewest points allowed by a Cougar team since giving up 23 to Idaho, Jan. 23, 1948 in a 48-23 victory. The Cougars' 51-point margin of victory is the second-largest margin victory in WSU history. The largest was 54 points against Delaware State, Dec. 3, 1988.
Tashan Newsome led the Delta Devils with nine points, including four of the team's five free throws.
The Cougars return to the court, Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. against Fairleigh Dickinson in the opening round of the Legends Classic at Friel Court.