Franks scores 32, but WSU falls flat against UC Davis, 81-67

Cougars lose first game of season

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PULLMAN — Robert Franks, a graduate of Evergreen High School in Vancouver, scored a career-high 32 points and had eight rebounds but Washington State lost its first game of the season, 81-67 to UC Davis on Saturday.

Franks went 12 of 18 from the field with five 3-pointers.

Washington State (6-1), which returned home after winning the Wooden Legacy Tournament, went 1-for-7 from 3-point range in the first half, shooting only 35 percent from the field. The Cougars made several runs throughout the second half, trying to make one of their famous early-season comebacks, but fell short.

Malachi Flynn, who was the MVP in the California tournament, was cold early, but finished with 19 points and five assists. Flynn entered the game with only four turnovers and 28 assists on the season. Against the Aggies, Flynn committed five.

Freshman Milan Acquaah, who has been a spark at times during the season for the Cougars, had six assists and five turnovers.

“We are not going to go undefeated during the whole year, so we just gotta kind of bounce back and get going again,” WSU coach Ernie Kent said.

TJ Shorts II scored 20 points, and Chima Moneke had 19 points and 11 rebounds to lead UC Davis.

The Aggies (5-2) finished the first half on a 12-2 run for a 17-point lead. Moneke set the tone when he slid the baseline and slammed down a monster dunk.

Moneke had another dunk with 9:28 remaining in the second half extending the lead back to 17.

Shorts sealed the game with a steal and an easy fast-break layup with one minute remaining in the game.

“Going forward, this is really just a booster for us, now it is on to the next one I believe Wednesday at home,” Shorts said. “So this is just going to be a great confidence booster for us and get ready for the next one.”

Siler Schneider added 12 points for UC Davis.

“When they lock in on the defensive end like that, they’re awfully good,” Aggie coach Jim Les said of his team. “The other thing I thought we did is, we moved the ball really well on the offensive end, whether it was zone or man. We made them defend, which takes a little bit out of their ability to shoot the ball on the other end.”