E. Washington 62, Gonzaga 60 Idaho 59, Washington St. 56
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) _ Idaho’s James Allen hit two free throws with five seconds left and tournament MVP Andrew Jackson scored a game-high 21 points as the Vandals stunned Washington State 59-56 Saturday night in the championship game of the first Inland Empire Basketball Classic.
Idaho, which had trailed by 17 points in the first half, scored the last nine points of the game, starting with Allen’s jumper with 2:26 to play. Guard James Fitch hit an 18-foot jumper with 52 seconds left to put the Big Sky Conference team ahead for good.
Washington State was scoreless the last 3:34 after 7-footer Ken Mathia hit a turnaround jumper on the baseline for a 56-50 lead.
Washington State guard Brian Wright missed a desperation three-point heave as time expired.
Idaho, under first-year Coach Tim Floyd, moved to 3-0. The Pacific-10 Conference Cougars, who have lost to Idaho five times in the last seven meetings, fell to 1-1.
Jackson scored all but two of his points in the second half.
Brian Coleman scored 12 for the Vandals.
Senior forward Joe Wallace topped Washington State with 18 points, including two three-point field goals. Brian Quinnett, Wright and Mathia had 11 apiece.
Washington State took a 31-14 lead with 3:50 to play in the first half and settled for a 32-20 halftime lead.
Jackson and Coleman combined for seven points in a 3 1/2 -minute stretch late in the game as the Vandals cut a 52-43 Cougar lead to 54-50.
Eastern Washington beat Gonzaga 62-60 in the consolation game. Junior guard Jerome Hall scored a game-high 16 points and junior center Kevin Sattler added 13 for the Eagles, 1-1.
The Eagles built a 50-40 lead with 10 minutes to play in the game. But during the next nine minutes, Eastern missed the front end of five one-and-one free throw situations and Gonzaga reserve forward Danny Roe scored eight points to pull the Bulldogs within 59-54.
Gonzaga’s Paul Walker hit a three-point field goal with four seconds left to cut the lead to 60-57, but Eastern’s Greg Gaulding hit two free throws with two seconds left to give the victors a cushion.
Roe topped Gonzaga, 0-2, with 14 points.