Thompson IDs self for costly miscue at end

PALO ALTO -- Klay Thompson routinely comes up big on the basketball court for the Washington State Cougars. On Thursday night, Thompson came up big off the court. Coach Ken Bone and Thompson's teammates declined to identify the player who failed to switch properly off a screen and left Stanford star Jeremy Green wide open for his game-winning shot with 4.6 seconds to go.

Klay Thompson, with little prompting, admitted to reporters that he was the guilty party.

"I just had a bad lapse at the worst part of the game," Thompson said.

It took a lot more than one defensive breakdown by Thompson to lose this game. The Cougars, who nearly blew a 20-point halftime lead in their 77-73 win over Stanford last month in Pullman, wasted a 15-point halftime lead – that they extended to 18 at the start of the second -- Thursday in a 60-58 loss at Maples Pavilion.

"For some reason, they come out just slow," WSU post DeAngelo Casto said of the Card. "Then when they come out in the second half, they play like they belong in the NBA."

The Cardinal played like they belonged in an intramural league in the opening half. Stanford turned the ball over 11 times before halftime, shot 33 percent from the field and at the free-throw line and scored just 18 points against the Pac-10's most generous defense.

"In the first half, we played great team basketball," Casto said.

It was Stanford's turn to do the same in the second half. The Cardinal outscored WSU 42-25 after intermission, made just six turnovers and shot 63 percent from the field and 81 percent at the line.

"We just collapsed," Bone said. "Part of that credit goes to Stanford, because they did a great job (in the second half).

"On the other hand, we had careless turnovers, careless fouls, not as good a shot selection as early in the game. Our defensive rotations weren't as good."

The 18 points allowed in the first half was a season low for the Cougars.

IF WSU HAD COMBINED A WIN over Stanford with a victory at first-place California on Saturday (1 p.m., FSN), the Cougars would have been just one game out of first.

Instead, the Cougars (15-9, 5-7 Pac-10) and Stanford are tied for eighth in the jam-packed conference standings.

"When we play well, we can beat anybody," Washington State forward Nikola Koprivica said. "The way the Pac-10 is right now, you never know. Cal could lose three or four games in a row."

CASTO PUT TOGETHER HIS second straight double-double, finishing with 15 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. He also led all players with three steals, though he was limited to 27 minutes by foul trouble.

"My confidence is probably up a lot more than it was at the beginning of the season," Casto said.

Casto scored a career-high 19 points last Saturday against Arizona. He was originally credited with nine rebounds, but later was given one more.

Green, a 6-foot-4 sophomore guard from Austin, Texas, has scored 24 points in each of Stanford's games with WSU this season.

"He's a great player," Casto said. "He's not a good player; he's a great player."

"Great player, great shooter," Koprivica said.

THE COUGARS HAD A CHANCE TO WIN the game after Green's late shot, but Reggie Moore's 3-point attempt from 22 feet hit nothing but air. Emmanuel Igbinosa defended the shot after Moore took the inbounds pass and raced down the court.

"He contested it pretty good," Moore said.

Moore hit just 1 of 10 shots and scored five points. Bone said Moore had the option of shooting, taking the ball to the basket or looking for Thompson and Koprivica in the corners.

THOMPSON FLASHED SOME OF HIS old shooting form, nailing 3 of 7 treys and scoring a team-high 19 points.

"If you take good shots, they're going to go in eventually," Thompson said.

Landry Fields, who has replaced Thompson as the Pac-10 scoring leader, had 15 points for Stanford.

NOTABLES:

  • The Cougars shot a season-low 10 free throws, and Casto missed 3 of 5 in the last five minutes. Stanford went to the line 22 times (16 in the second half). Stanford sank 13 of 16 free throws in the second half. The Cardinal was in the bonus the final 12:20. "They earned that," Bone said. "It wasn't the refs' fault."

  • Reserves Charlie Enquist and John Allen did not make the trip after suffering sprained ankles in practice this week. Anthony Brown and Ben Loewen took their spots on the travel roster. Another reserve, Abe Lodwick, played six minutes after missing the Arizona game due to illness.


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