PULLMAN – The Washington State Cougars drifted aimlessly through the first half of their exhibition basketball game Tuesday night, so coach Ken Bone made it a point to remind his players that the big guy in the crimson uniform is the reigning Pac-12 Conference scoring champion.
Senior forward Brock Motum, limited to three shots and six points in the first half, went 7 for 9 from the field in the second half and finished with 21 points to lead the Cougars past Saint Martin’s, 62-50, at Beasley Coliseum.
“Some of our guys needed to be reminded at halftime who our best scorer was,” Bone said. “That guy should get more touches.”
“Teammates found me in good spots,” Motum said. “I didn’t have to do a lot of work because their penetration drew my defender and left me open.”
The Cougars, who open the season Saturday against visiting Eastern Washington (4:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network), led only 28-26 at halftime. The score was tied at 33 almost five minutes into the second half before Motum scored six points during a 10-0 WSU run.
The Saints hit 42.9 percent of their 3-pointers, but just 37 percent from the field overall. Saint Martin’s outrebounded the Cougars 30-28 and held Washington State to 18.2 percent shooting on 3-pointers, though WSU shot 54.5 percent overall.
“We played well,” Saint Martin’s coach Keith Cooper said. “They’re a little bigger, faster, stronger.”