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Elleby leads Washington State past Idaho State 72-61

PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — One of CJ Elleby’s favorite things is getting a steal and then seeing the open court in front of him.

His seven steals and 23 points helped lead Washington State to a 72-61 victory over Idaho State Sunday afternoon in Pullman.

“It’s my favorite,” Elleby said. “I love getting steals. I don’t think I have had seven before.”

Washington State (2-1) had three different players in double figures, went 13 of 16 from the free-throw line and outscored Idaho State 46-32 in the paint.

Elleby had a solid performance, shooting 9 of 14 from the field, and grabbing eight rebounds. Issac Bonton added 15 points and four assists, while Jeff Pollard scored 11 points and had six rebounds.

Eight different players scored for the Cougars, who shot 44 percent overall despite only going 3 of 17 from beyond the arc.

“We took care of the ball and made some good plays,” said Washington State coach Kyle Smith. “I thought we played with a little more poise in the second half and got our legs underneath us.”

The Bengals (2-2) struggled with the Cougars’ defensive effort. Washington State scored 21 points off 20 Idaho State turnovers and held Tarik Cool, the Bengals leading scorer at 19.7 points per game, to two free throws. Cool went 0 of 6 from the field.

Chier Maker had 15 points and six rebounds for the Bengals and Jared Stutzman added 15 points and five rebounds.