Washington State opens Diamond Head Classic vs. George Washington

Washington State will look to gain some much-needed momentum before returning to Pac-12 play later this month when it faces George Washington in the first round of the Diamond Head Classic on Thursday in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The Cougars (4-6) lost for the fourth time in their past five games following a 65-59 setback to then-No. 11 Baylor in the Pac-12 Coast-to-Coast Challenge on Sunday in Dallas.

George Washington (6-4) ended a two-game losing streak with an 83-71 win over visiting Coppin State on Dec. 13.

The winner will face the winner of Pepperdine-Hawaii on Friday, with the losers meeting in the consolation bracket that day.

The Cougars, who opened Pac-12 play with losses to Oregon and Utah, trailed the Bears 53-51 with 6:06 left before Baylor countered with a 10-4 run to secure the win.

Jabe Mullins came off the bench to score a team-high 16 points in 29 minutes for the Cougars after missing the past four games with a knee injury. TJ Bamba, who averages a team-high 16.4 points per game, chipped in 14 points and Justin Powell added 12.

“I probably played (Jabe) too much, but he was playing really well,” Washington State coach Kyle Smith said. “He gave us an opportunity.”

In George Washington’s last game, the Colonels led the Eagles 34-32 at halftime before outscoring them 49-39 in the second half for their third win in the past five games.

James Bishop IV, who averages a team-high 22.2 points per game, scored a game-high 30 points, while Brendan Adams added 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Maximus Edwards came off the bench to post his first career double-double with 16 points, a game-high 12 rebounds and five assists.

The Colonels are 1-0 against Power Five teams this season, having defeated the Southeastern Conference’s South Carolina 79-55 on Nov. 30.

“Any time you’re able to play in multi-team events and you can play against a Power Five opponent that you don’t normally get, the opportunity that presents itself is great for us,” George Washington first-year coach Chris Caputo said. “Secondly, any time we get on national television for three games, that is great for our brand.”

–Field Level Media