ANCHORAGE – Alaska Anchorage’s Brandon Walker scored a game-high 27 points, but the size and athleticism of Washington State was too much for the host Seawolves as they lost 87-68 on Wednesday night in the opening game of the men’s Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout at Sullivan Arena.
Sophomore swingman Klay Thompson led Washington State (4-0) with 25 points on 9-of-18 shooting (3-5 3FG). The reigning Pacific-10 Conference Player of the Week also had a game-high seven rebounds and four assists to earn Carrs/Safeway Player of the Game honors.
UAA (2-1) was powered by 8-of-13 shooting (5-8 3FG) from Walker, while fellow junior guard Drew Robinson scored 14 points (4-8 FG, 5-6 FT) and dished four assists for the tournament’s lone Division II squad.
The Cougars put four players in double-figures as guard Reggie Moore came off the bench for 17 points, and forwards Marcus Capers and DeAngelo Casto chipped in 10 points each.
The Seawolves battled through foul trouble all night, beginning when starting center Malcolm Campbell (7 pts, 5 rebounds) picked up his second foul just two minutes into the game.
Despite a 14-8 foul disadvantage, the Seawolves stayed within 36-28 at the half.
But Washington State would stretch its lead to 19 points at three different occasions in the second half, including 62-43 at the 11-minute mark. A Walker three-pointer slashed the deficit to 69-61 with 5:40 to play before Moore scored four straight points for the visitors from Pullman, Wash.
With round-robin play in effect, Washington State could clinch a spot in the title game with a victory in their next outing, Friday at 5 p.m. against Nicholls State.
The Seawolves will challenge Nicholls in another Pool A contest Thursday at 5 p.m.