Washington State sneaks by Buffalo 65-54



PULLMAN — DaVonte Lacy scored 19 points, Brock Motum added 15 and Washington State used a big second half run to escape with a 65-54 victory over Buffalo on Friday night

Buffalo led 49-48 with 7:02 left before the Cougars used a 13-1 run to pull away. The Bulls went nearly six minutes without a field goal during Washington State’s run.

Lacy tied his career high with five 3-pointers for Washington State (8-4), which has won three straight and six of seven. Motum had eight of his 15 points in the second half for the Cougars and Dexter Kernich-Drew added 10.

“If I’m going my teammates find me and if I’m not they’ll find the person that’s hot,” said Lacy, who made four 3-pointers in the opening half.

Motum had two put-backs to ignite the run, including one after a missed free throw.

Motum shot only 6 of 15 from the field and 1 of 4 on free throws. Motum had scored at least 23 points in each of the previous five games.

“He was one of the guys that was playing ugly but he was finding other ways to score and be productive,” Washington State coach Ken Bone said about Motum.

Kernich-Drew hit a 3-pointer from the right wing to make it 56-50 with 4:53 remaining in the game.

“Dexter has not been making 3’s,” Bone said. “He had missed 10 in a row in the last three games, so it was important for us to work on him this last week to try to get him the confidence and freedom to shoot so it was like hope he makes it.”

Tony Watson scored 18 points to lead Buffalo (4-8), which had won two in a row, and Auraum Nuiriankh added 13.

The Bulls shot 6 of 29 (20.7 percent) from the field in the second half. They shot 14 of 25 (56 percent) in the first half to lead 37-35 at halftime.

“We got out of sync,” Buffalo coach Reggie Witherspoon said. “That happens if you get some bunnies and you miss them. Shots aren’t going to get easier than that. A couple of them were four-point swings where we miss a layup and they come down and score.”