PULLLMAN — Isaac Bonton scored a career-high 34 points and Washington State beat Oregon State 89-76 on Saturday in front of a packed house that saw Klay Thompson’s jersey retired.
Two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry was in attendance as his Golden State Warriors teammate and fellow “Splash Brother” had his No. 1 jersey hung for perpetuity in the rafters of an unusually raucous Beasley Coliseum.
Thompson was emotional during the halftime ceremony and active on the sidelines throughout the game, fist-pumping and firing up the 10,380 fans. Video tributes to Thompson by his former USA basketball coach, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, plus former Washington State and current Virginia coach Tony Bennett and Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr were shown.
In three seasons as a starter at Washington State, Thompson played 98 games, averaging 17.9 points per contest. By the time he left after his junior season, he had scored 1,756 points (third in school history) and made what then was a school-record 242 3-pointers. He was the 11th overall pick by the Warriors in the 2011 NBA Draft.
“Each year I was in Pullman I had to grow,” Thompson said. “In my freshman year, I had so many great leaders on our team as far as veterans, you know Daven (Harmeling), Taylor Rochestie was such a great team player, such a great point guard. When they left, I had to kind of step into that spotlight, that main go-to guy role. I took my lumps and had my stumps but those made me so much stronger.”
The arrival of the Splash Brothers in Pullman seemed not only to energize the crowd but also the players of Washington State (12-7, 3-3 Pac 12), who completed their first sweep over the Oregon schools since January 2011 and first home Pac-12 sweep since 2013.
Bonton had his eighth straight double-digit scoring game, shooting 8 of 13 from the field, including four 3-pointers. He also had eight rebounds and eight assists.
CJ Elleby’s 22-point and nine-rebound performance came two days after he scored 25 and had a career-best 14 rebounds game against No. 8 Oregon. Noah Williams had 17 points for the Cougars.
Oregon State (12-6, 2-4 Pac 12) dominated the Cougars inside, winning the battle in the paint 54-32, but gave up 29 fast-break points and couldn’t stop Elleby and Bonton from scoring.
Tres Tinkle had 22 points and Ethan Thompson scored 14 for the Beavers.
In a back-and-forth first half, Washington State went on a 9-0 run with 1:31 remaining to take a 46-40 lead at the break.
In the second, Washington State went on a 10-0 run with 7:33 remaining to take a 69-56 lead. Oregon State responded with a 7-0 run of their own to get within six but that was the closest they got.