Central Washington stops men’s basketball despite Cranston’s double-double

ELLENSBURG, Washing – Cameron Cranston put in another impressive performance with a double-double with 29 points and 10 rebounds Saturday night. Despite Cranston’s big night, the Western Oregon University basketball team was unable to get past Central Washington as the Wildcats claimed the Great Northwest Athletic Conference 90-67 victory at the Nicholson Pavilion.

Cranston went 11-22 from the field, 4-7 from three and 3-3 on the foul line for his 29 points. He also took down 10 rebounds, added two steals and a block in 38 minutes. Three other Wolves reached double figures by scoring with Yosani Clay adding 12 points, five steals and four assists. Tireek price went for 11 points and three rebounds while John Morrill-Keeler added 10 points, six rebounds and two blocks.

It marked the sixth time this season that Cranston has scored at least 20 points in a game and is his second-highest point total of the season, just short of his career-high 35-point night at Montana State Billings.

Central Washington (9-3, 3-2 GNAC) registered the first five points of the game a minute later. Clay got WOU (3-10, 2-3 GNAC) on the board with a jumper at 6:53 PM. That helped kick off an 8-0 run for the Wolves, with Clay adding a three-pointer and Price adding a long ball a minute later to take the Wolves to the 8-5 lead.

With a one-point lead, Cranston scored five straight points on a lay-up, then a three-pointer on an assist from Qiant Myers to push WOU to a 13-7 lead almost five minutes later.

After CWU came back to retake the lead, WOU took the lead twice more near the middle of the opening half. Another deep ball from Cranston gave WOU a 16-14 lead and after the Wildcats tied it, Clay dunked for the 18-16 lead.

After Daisone Hughes tie at 20 on a jumper, Central Washington went on a 16-0 run to take a 36-20 lead.

WOU tried to strike away, but the Wildcats scored for the rest of the half with five more than the Wolves to take a 46-25 lead at halftime.

A three-pointer from Myers a minute into the second half brought WOU back to within 15. After a run by CWU to regain the lead over 20, the Wolves continued to fight back, getting close to 12 midway through the half.

Clay hit a jumper and Cranston added a jumper of his own to narrow the Wildcats lead to 68-56. After a triple by Cranston at 8:03 AM, WOU was back to inside 13, which would be as close as the Wolves the rest of the way. CWU defeated WOU 10 for the rest of the match to take the 90-67 win.

WOU went 25-59 (42.4) from the field, 11-27 (40.7) from three and 6-9 (66.7) from the foul line.

Central Washington hosted big games from Marqus Gilson, Xavier Smith and Matt Poquette as the trio totaled 61 points. Gilson led the way with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Smith scored 20 points and Poquette chipped 18 points. CWU went 36-61 (59) off the field, 7-15 (46.7) from three and 11-14 (78.6) at the foul line. The Wildcats used a big advantage of 50-22 on points in the paint.

WOU will continue the road trip this week playing a home and home series with Saint Martin’s. The Wolves will play in the Saints on Thursday evening from 7:30 pm and receive the Saints a few days later on Saturday in Monmouth from 4:15 pm.

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