Cardinal Embarrassed In Emerald City

Men's Hoops Editor Ray Salloom provides the Bootleg faithful a look at the game flow, stats, and facts after Stanford was thoroughly outplayed by the Washington Huskies, suffering their worst loss ever in 95 years of playing the Dawgs, falling by a final of 94-61. Read how the Cardinal tried to keep up with the home squad, but could not handle UW's tough pressure defense and high-flying offense.

Coming off an impressive sweep of the Los Angeles tandem at home, the Stanford Cardinal were looking to continue those winning ways up in the Evergreen State, starting off with the Washington Huskies in Seattle on Thursday evening.  A fast start by the home team only snowballed the rest of the game as the Cardinal were run right out of the arena, suffering their worst defeat ever versus the Washington Huskies, losing the game by a final score of 97-64.  Washington moves to 11-5, 2-3 in Pac-10 play with the win, while Stanford drops to 8-8, 2-2 in conference action.

Stanford wanted to start off the game at a slower pace, while Washington wanted to run up and down the court, using their pressure defense to cause turnovers whenever possible.  The early momentum was even as Washington led by just a 7-6 score, but a run by the Huskies started to put the game out of reach.  A lob inside from Venoy Overton to Justin Holiday made for an easy deuce, then after a block by Holiday, Quincy Pondexter ran down the court and threw down a tomahawk dunk much to the delight of the fans at Hec Ed Pavilion.  Another make by Overton after a steal by Matt Bryan-Amaning made it 15-6, making a blowout seem imminent to each side of fans watching this contest.

However, the ugly head that has become Pac-10 Basketball showed itself to a national TV audience on FSN/CSN when both teams began tossing the ball around like it was a hand grenade, turning the ball over multiple times and taking bad shots from all over the court, both from next to the basket and from downtown.  Unfortunately, once the teams came back from the next media timeout, Washington was the team to awaken from their stupor, getting a monster dunk on another breakaway by Bryan-Amaning over a helpless Drew Shiller.  A three-point play by Pondexter after a couple of offensive rebounds from the home side grew the lead to 16, 22-6, before a tough Landry Fields layup broke the nearly eight-minute stretch without a point.

The Cardinal got it to within 12 before a free throw by Tyreese Breshers and a long two-pointer by super freshman Abdul Gaddy from the left wing bumped the advantage to 15 before the second-to-last media timeout of the game.  Could Stanford bring that double-digit lead down to under 10 in the final 7:39 of the first half?  It didn't look like it as Washington increased the margin to 18, 31-13, before a thunderous dunk (off a tip out of an offensive rebound by Jack Trotter) by Fields, plus the free throw after being fouled, seemed to tilt the momentum towards the Cardinal for a brief second.  A Washington 7-2 run, though, burst the bubble from that thought, as a Holliday layup gave UW their biggest lead of the game, 38-18, with 4:04 remaining in the first half.  The remainder of the first half was highlighted by a Jeremy Green layup, his first points of the game, and a Gaddy short, running, one-handed jumper as the teams headed to the locker room with the Huskies up 41-22.

Washington penetrated the varieties of zone defense that Stanford threw out on the floor, helping them shoot 47% from the field, although they were 0-8 from beyond the arc and made just 7-11 of their free throws.  Stanford, however, was far less effective against the tight, man-to-man pressure put on by the Huskies, shooting just 30% from the field.  The Cardinal was also scoreless from deep, missing all four of their attempts, and not too efficient from the free throw line, as they managed to make just 10-17 (59%).  Washington outrebounded Stanford 22-14, including 10-5 on the offensive glass. The Cardinal managed to dish out just four assists compared to 13 turnovers, while UW's ratio was much closer to even as the Huskies tallied seven assists and eight turnovers. 

Stanford was led at the half by Fields' 13 points on 4-8 shooting, and four rebounds. The only other player with more than two points was the big man Trotter with six.  Zimmerman did manage to dish out three of the team's four assists.  Washington was led by Isaiah Thomas' 11 points, followed by Gaddy's 10 on 5-5 shooting and seven from Pondexter.

The second half didn't start off well for the visitors as the Huskies grabbed two offensive rebounds before a long jumper from Pondexter gave UW their biggest lead of the night at 21.  Trotter made two free throws on the other end and settled back into their zone.  Instead of attacking the defense, though, the Huskies tried to shoot over it, allowing for the Cardinal to crawl back into the contest, getting to within 16, before Washington began to mix things up, getting another big dunk from Pondexter, followed by a long, left corner three-pointer to bring the lead out to 22 before the first media time out of the second stanza.

Pondexter took over for the next couple of minutes, blocking a layup on one end and dishing and scoring on the other, giving the hometown Huskies a 59-31 lead before head coach Johnny Dawkins called a time out with 13:34 to go in the game.  However, the time out did little to help Stanford get fully back into the contest, although they did hit a couple of shots in a row, including a Trotter layup off another well-designed out-of-bounds play, to bring the advantage down to 25, 62-37, with just over 12 minutes to go.  UW, though, countered with their own run of eight in a row, including two three-pointers from Scott Suggs, to further separate the former first place and last place teams in the conference.

Both teams spent the final 10 minutes trying to figure out what the final margin would be as Stanford tried to hang with the home team to no avail.  Washington eventually went on another run that pushed their lead to as high as 41, 85-44, with 5:13 left before Stanford tried to save some face and avoid one of their worst losses in several decades.  The Cardinal got the lead down to 32 late in the contest before finally succumbing to the Huskies in Seattle, managing to lose by 33, one point shy of their previous year loss at UCLA, a 97-63 throttling at Pauley Pavilion on January 31st.

For the contest, Washington made 49% of their field goals, 32% of their three-pointers, and netted 67% (14-21) of their free throws.  Stanford finished the game shooting 41% from the field, 14% (1-7) from beyond the arc, and a dismal 60% at the charity stripe, despite shooting 37 times from the line.  UW outrebounded Stanford 42-33, including 20-11 on the offensive end.  The Cardinal dished out 10 assists compared to giving up the rock 20 times on the night, while Washington had nearly the mirror image with 19 assists and just 10 turnovers. 

Stanford was led by Fields' 17 points and five rebounds, while Trotter was the only other player in double figures with 12.  Pondexter led the victors with 27 points and 10 rebounds (7 of which were offensive) on 12-16 shooting from the field.  Thomas was next in line with 15 points and seven assists and Suggs came off the bench to score 12 in just 16 minutes of play.

Stanford will attempt to regroup as the head to Pullman to take on the Washington State Cougars at 2:00pm on Saturday afternoon.  The Cougars are coming off a 93-88 loss to California in the Palouse and are looking to avoid falling below .500 in conference play.

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