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The game that was: WSU 81, Stanford 69

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN -- The 3,119 who came out to Beasley tonight are glad they did. The Cougars ripped off a huge second-half run to run away from the Cardinal with an 81-69 win, a nice response to their three-game losing streak. Read on for our standard capsulated review of the game.

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PLAYER OF THE GAME -- I wonder? Faisal Aden was the lights-out scorer the Cougars have been waiting for him to be, pouring in a career-high 33 points, five better than his previous best of 28. And he did it without settling for long 3-pointers. He missed all three of his first-half 3-point tries, and didn't attempt another in the second half. All he did after that was score 23 points, finishing 10-17 from the field after making 4-9 in the first half. And he made all 13 of his free-throw attempts. And he made a crazy jumper that he had to loft over the backboard. And afterward, he said this is what his game really looks like, and that he's been settling too often for perimeter shots. Interesting. Will we see a different Aden moving forward?

PLAY OF THE GAME -- I'm going to pick something a little obscure that won't show up in the box score, but was still very important. The game was tied at 55-55 with a little under nine minutes to go, and Reggie Moore pulled up for a long jumper at the end of the shot clock. He missed, but Abe Lodwick chased down the ball and batted it back out top to Moore, who found DaVonte Lacy for a 3-pointer from the wing. Moore made a 3-pointer on the Cougars' next possession to put them up by six, and Stanford never got closer than that.

KEY STAT -- WSU made 27 of its 29 free-throw attempts. Very hard to lose games when you make that many. A big part of that was Aden, obviously, but Brock Motum, Lacy, Moore and Capers all helped in the effort, too. And because this was such a big win, how about another stat -- WSU and Stanford grabbed the same amount of rebounds (30). Obviously, there were more rebounds for the Cougars to grab because the Cardinal shot so poorly for such a long time in the second half, so the ratio is a little skewed. Still, the fact that they weren't outrebounded by the best rebounding team in the conference is a real positive.

QUOTABLE -- "I hate to sound so simplistic, but we made shots and they didn't. I thought our defense was really good in that stretch, but we were fortunate they didn’t make shots. On the other hand, we were making some and executing well." -- coach Ken Bone, on how WSU was able to go on its run in the second half

NEXT UP -- Saturday vs. California, 3:05 p.m. The Golden Bears (16-4, 6-1 Pac-12) won at Washington on Thursday and are now alone atop the Pac-12 standings.

Christian Caple can be reached at christianc@spokesman.com. Twitter: @ChristianCaple




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