FROM STANFORD — Another game WSU felt it could win slipped away from the Cougars here in the Bay Area, as Stanford scored 14 unanswered points late in a 78-67 win at Maples Pavilion. Read on for our tale of the tape.
PLAYER OF THE GAME — Aaron Bright didn't start tonight, but the junior guard from Bellevue was a constant thorn in WSU's side. He made 3-of-4 from 3-point range and made all eight of his free throws, and seemed to be able to finagle his way into the lane whenever Stanford really needed a bucket. Quite simply, the Cougars had no answer for him.
PLAY OF THE GAME — This one is more like a sequence of the game. After Chasson Randle scored to give Stanford a 58-57 lead, Brock Motum missed a shot and the Cardinal rebounded. Bright missed a shot on the other end, but after a scrum at the rim, Dwight Powell finished it by slamming through a put-back dunk. That put Stanford up by three points and seemed to really put the Cougars' backs against the wall. They never recovered.
STAT OF THE GAME — The Cardinal scored 48 of its 78 points from either the free-throw line or the 3-point line, making just 15 field goals inside the arc. And Stanford came away with only five offensive rebounds despite its size — something that had Bone so concerned he started Will DiIorio in place of Royce Woolridge — and scored just two points off those second chances. WSU outscored the Cardinal in the paint, 28-12, and off turnovers, 16-7. And yet the Cardinal won by 11 points. Basketball can be a funny game sometimes.
QUOTABLE — “I thought our energy was a little bit deflated when they did start making some shots. All of a sudden they got up eight, 10, 12 and I thought that hurt us emotionally a little bit. Like I told the guys, I’ll have to see the video to confirm that, but I just thought we kind of dropped our heads a little bit and I don’t want to say showed frustration, but just didn’t maybe play as hard as we have been playing.” — coach Ken Bone on the final few minutes.
UP NEXT — A 1 p.m. game Saturday at California. The Golden Bears played poorly on Wednesday in a 62-47 loss to Washington.