Dexter Kernich-Drew had a career-high 15 points and five assists. D.J. Shelton added 14 points including a 3-pointer down the stretch to help Washington State (4-3) with the win.
"D.J. what a great effort down the stretch. He (Shelton) did a good job tonight and he was under control, made tough shots at a critical time, which will help make him a better player," Washington State coach Ken Bone said.
Idaho recovered from a 13 point deficit at the break by going on an 11-2 run to start the second half. It would cut the lead to two points, 53-51, with 3:30 remaining in the game.
"I was hoping it would be a close game down the stretch so we could have that experience, we got down at one point and they came right back, they wouldn't not go away, I like how we responded," Bone said.
Shelton knocked down a big 3-pointer as the shot clock expired to give the Cougars the spark they needed, scoring nine of the last 11 points for the Cougars.
"That shot from D.J. was huge, it took the wind out of us, and we did not get the stops we needed down the stretch, especially the last five minutes of the game," Idaho coach Don Verlin said. "They did a nice job of spreading us out and we did not execute."
Stephen Madison had 13 points for Idaho (1-4). The Vandals committed 11 turnovers in the contest, while Washington State had four. The Cougars outscored Idaho 44-24 in the paint and shot 45.6 percent from the field. Idaho would get into foul trouble early and have to sit two of its post players, giving Washington State an easier time inside and allowing the Cougars to outscore the Vandals 44-24 in the paint.
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