PULLMAN, Wash. Brock Motum scored a career-high 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, Faisal Aden added 18 points, and Washington State rallied to beat Sacramento State 79-68 Thursday night.
Motum gave the Cougars (1-1) their first lead of the night when he hit a put-back with 17:35 to play. The Hornets (2-1) hung around for the next five minutes before getting into foul trouble and allowing Washington State to take control.
The first half we were a little complacent. They had the jump on us, Motum said. We were low on energy.
DaVonte Lacy added 15 points for the Cougars.
A year ago, the Cougs had no problem dispatching the Hornets 84-36, but on Thursday, Sacramento State used a quick transition game and a solid inside presence to take an early lead.
Sac State did a great job, WSU coach Ken Bone said. Their transition was very, very good, and we werent very quick getting back to their interior guys.
Sacramento State scored the games first seven points, and led 25-12 in the first half and 39-33 at halftime, behind the hot shooting of John Dickson, who led the Hornets with 21 points. Joe Eberhard added 16 points and 12 rebounds, and Josh McCarver had 10 points.
Washington State came alive in the second half, with Motum scoring 16 of his 23 points. He tied the game for the first time with a 3-pointer just after halftime and gave the Cougars their first lead with a put-back a minute later.
Motum, a 6-foot-10-inch junior from Brisbane, Australia, had struggled in the paint in the first half, but he found his baby hook and used it often in the second.
Brock did a great job converting most of his field-goal attempts, Bone said. Hes a good guy to get the ball to because hes so efficient.
While the Hornets ran out of players due to foul trouble, the Cougars turned up the heat.
Aden stepped up his defensive game, grabbing three steals and forcing multiple turnovers. His defense sparked his offense as he scored 11 second-half points.
The Cougars took the lead for good, 51-49, on an Aden jumper with just over 12 minutes left.