The Stanford Cardinal came into tonight's game versus Washington State looking to get the train rolling in the right direction after a disappointing sweep down in Los Angeles at the hands of USC and UCLA. Using a bevy of high percentage shots and a great evening from downtown, Stanford pulled away from Washington State in the second half, winning 65-54, to move their record to 14-6 (4-6 in the Pac-10) on the season. Washington State fell to 12-10 (also 4-6 in the Pac-10).
The game started off well for Stanford as Josh Owens won the tip, one of the first in a while for the sophomore, and Lawrence Hill went to the line after a strong move to get the Cardinal on the board first. Washington State, however, came to play and rattled off nine in a row before a Hill three stopped the 3:43 minutes of silence from Stanford. Another jumper by Law would cut the lead to 9-7, but WSU would run off six in a row before Will Paul nailed a long ball with 11:59 to go, making it a 15-10 Cougars advantage. Both teams would trade field goals over the next four minutes before Anthony Goods hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to one, 21-20. WSU would extend the lead back out to four with 4:40 to go, but then the Cougars went ice cold, making just one field goal the rest of the way. Stanford got a three-pointer from a hobbled Will Paul (injured quad in practice) to take the lead and the Cardinal went into the half up one, 29-28.
Individually, Stanford was led by Hill's 11 points on 4-4 shooting from the floor, while also grabbing a team high three rebounds. Paul had two threes for six total points, while Goods had five, but he made just two of seven from the floor. Freshman sensation Thompson led Washington State with 10 points in 4-9 shooting, but no other Cougar had more than four. Baynes led WSU on the glass with five.
As a team, Stanford finished the first half strong, making 50% of their field goals, including 71% (5-7) from deep, but just 40% (6-15) from inside the arc. Hill also made two free throws, while Owens missed two. The Cougars, who started off white hot, hitting 8 of its first 11 shots, cooled off considerably, finishing the half at 46% from the field. However, WSU was perfect from three-point land (3-3) to keep pace with the Cardinal. The Cougars also struggled from inside the arc, making just 38% of their shots (8-21) and are just 1-2 from the line. Washington State outrebounded Stanford 14-13, allowing Stanford just one offensive rebound. The Cardinal had nine assists and seven turnovers, while the Cougars had similar numbers, clocking in with eight assists and just five turnovers. WSU also led in the areas of points in the paint (12-8), points off turnovers (11-6), and second chance points (5-3).
The second half saw the two teams battle back and forth, but a critical third foul on Taylor Rochestie opened the door for Stanford. Hill made a short jumper in the lane to give Stanford its first two possession lead of the half. Coach Tony Bennett called timeout, but that did little to hold back the Cardinal. Five consecutive points by Paul, including one of his three long balls on the evening, put Stanford up seven, 41-34. By the time Rochestie came back in the game five minutes later, the Cardinal had built the lead up to double-digits, 48-38, with 12 minutes to play. The Cougars got an immediate boost from Taylor as he hit a three-pointer and Baynes followed with a short hook in the paint. However, Hill would make the same shots to get the lead back up to 10 in short order. With 8:21 to go, it still was anyone's game, but Stanford's hot shooting never let Washington State get within nine the rest of the way.
For Stanford, Hill and Paul combined to make 13-14 shots from the field, including 5-5 from beyond the arc, to finish with 33 points. Hill led the way with 20 on 8-9 shooting, while sharing the team lead in rebounds with Landry Fields with six. Paul and Goods had 13 each, a career best for the Texan, while Anthony dished out a career high seven assists to only one turnover in 35 minutes of play. Mitch Johnson had eight for Stanford, including 6-6 from the free throw line. Washington State was led by Thompson who had 18 on 7-14 shooting. Baynes missed a double-double by one board as he completed the night with 16 points and nine rebounds. Rochestie had a rough night, getting just seven points on 2-7 shooting from the field. He did have a team high five assists.
The Cardinal had a great night shooting as they made 55% of their field goals, including 60% in the second half. They were also smokin' hot from the three-point line, making 69% from beyond the arc on 9 of 13 shooting. Stanford finished the contest making 48% of their attempts inside the three-point arc, along with a decent 10-15 (67%) from the free throw line. Washington State, which had their hot start to begin the game, finished the game at 46% from the field, 47% inside the three-point line, 40% outside the arc, and went 8-11 from the free throw line. The Cardinal had 16 assists and 11 turnovers, while Washington State finished with 12 assists and 11 turnovers. Both teams finished the game with 24 rebounds, although WSU had five of the offensive variety, while the Card had just two. Washington State had 22 points in the paint, but Stanford was close behind with 18. The Cardinal scored 14 points off of turnovers, while the Cougars didn't convert any of their opportunities in the second half, finishing with 11. Washington State did lead in the second chance category, outscoring Stanford 10-5, but it wasn't enough to beat the Cardinal this evening.
Can Stanford, led by head coach Johnny Dawkins, build momentum after a strong second half versus the Cougars? They'll need to play as well, or potentially better, to beat the Washington Huskies who'll come to Maples Pavilion perhaps a bit angry after getting blown out in the second half in their game at Berkeley, losing to the Golden Bears, 86-71. Game time is set for 2:30pm on Sunday (not Saturday) as the Cardinal and Huskies will be the first half of FSN's National doubleheader that day and night.
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