FULLERTON, Calif., November 23, 2017 – Washington State overcame a 20-point first half deficit and defeated Saint Joseph’s, 75-71 on sophomore Malachi Flynn’s three-pointer with five seconds left on the clock.
Junior Robert Franks led Washington State in scoring and rebounding with 19 points and seven boards. The only other Cougar in double-figures was junior Viont’e Daniels with 17 points. Flynn, the hero, finished with nine points, six of which came in the final four minutes of play including the game-winner.
Senior Shavar Newkirk was the leading scorer for Saint Joseph’s with his game-high 24 points. Senior James Demery’s was the only other double-figure scorer for the Hawks with 13 points. Sophomore Pierfrancesco Oliva pulled down a game-high 10 boards in the loss.
The first half was all Hawks. They dominated the first, shooting 45.7% from the field and at one point had a 20-point lead which happened over a span of seven minutes when SJU went on a 20-0 run. Led by Newkirk’s 10 first half points, Saint Joseph’s were holding onto a comfortable 14-point lead going into halftime.
That lead held up until six minutes left to play when Franks knocked down a three from the wing to give the Cougars a one-point lead. From there, the teams battled back-and-forth resulting in five different lead changes in the last five minutes of play. With time winding down, Flynn pulled up from well beyond the arc and drained it giving Washington State a 73-71 lead and ultimately the win. A pair of free throws from Daniels sealed the deal and the Cougars finished off a ridiculous comeback.