After going on a 14-0 run to take a 68-57 lead over Washington State the Cardinal never looked back as Stanford secured their first Pac-12 victory of the season pushing their record to 10-6 overall (1-2 in the Pac-12) while the Cougars fall to 9-6 (1-1 in the Pac-12) overall.
The story of the first half for the Cardinal was defense, and lots of it. They held the Cougars to 23 points while shooting just 9-29 from field; a measley 31%. A key contributor on defense was Dwight Powell who contributed 3 blocks (2 of which looked like he thought he was playing volleyball) to the team total of 5 for the half. The defense was also able to keep the leading scorer Brock Motum for Washington State to 3 of 10 shooting and 8 total points.
The Cougars were also able to play pretty well defensively limiting the amount of shots Stanford had taken at that point. One key for them in the first half was turnovers, and Washington State forced 9 of them allowing them to stay in the game otherwise the first half score might have been a different story.
As far as scoring went, Stanford got points across the board from multiple players but was led by Chasson Randle who had 9 points at the half. Second on the team was Powell who had 6 points and 4 boards. The Cougars were led by senior Mike Ladd with 9 points and 4 rebounds and and Motum with 8 points.
There was a much livelier pace to the start of the second half and it stayed that way for a majority of the rest of the game. After a combined 50 points in the first half Stanford alone scored 51 in the second along with 44 from Washington. Brock Motum went off in the second half scoring 21 points but it wasn’t enough against the multifaceted Cardinal offense. Stanford went on a 14-0 run throughout the middle of the second half and ended the game on an impressive 24-10 run that showed off the closing of ability of the Cardinal.
Aaron Bright‘s team high was also a season high for him as he hit 17 points including 3-4 from behind the arc off the bench. Also key to the game for Stanford was Dwight Powell who got another double-double ending the game with 16 points, 11 rebounds and even 4 blocks. The third player in double-digits for the Cardinal was Chasson Randle who ended with 16 points as well.
The Cougars ended the game with 3 players with 10 points or more but in the end they relied too heavily on Brock Motum. Although he ended the game with 29 points including 4-7 from three point land he had to take 24 shots to do it. He did have a little bit of help from teammate Mike Ladd, but in the end neither were enough to overcome Stanford’s second half scoring boom.
In the end it was a very strong showing by the Cardinal; defensively dominant in the first half and offensively dominant in the second half. Also the scoring from all parts of the floor was as good as it has been all season and at times the team was firing on all cylinders. If the Cardinal can play like this more often they’ll certainly be looking good going forward throughout conference play.