The Washington State men’s basketball (8-9, 1-4) team hit the road again Wednesday, traveling to Palo Alto to take on Stanford (11-5, 2-2 Pac-12). It’s not easy to win a Pac-12 game on your opponent’s home court, an axiom proved by the Cougs once again.
FINAL: STAN 80 – WSU 48
Entering the contest, both teams were coming off much needed conference wins.
The Cardinal have plenty of firepower on offense with four starters averaging double-digit points. Coach Ken Bone knew his guys would have to slow down the pace of the game against a team averaging 77-points if they were to win.
WSU was unable to perform well at either end of the court.
For Stanford, the video of this game might serve as an instructional view of how the college game should be played. They shot a sizzling 57.7% from the field with more than half of their buckets coming off a well timed pass. On defense, the Cardinal limited WSU to 37% shooting.
Once again, without a contribution from DaVonté Lacy who remains sidelined with a rib injury, Washington State struggled to get good looks at the hoop when they had the ball.
Que Johnson continues to acclimate himself to Pac-12 basketball in a positive way. Johnson led the Cougs, and all scorers, with 21-points on 8-15 shooting.
Stanford used superior size to great advantage. Not only did they outscore the Cougs in the paint 34-12, they forced WSU to revert back to putting up most of their shots from the perimeter. The combination of cold shooting and inability to rebound spelled trouble for Ken Bone’s squad.
To emphasize Stanford’s size intimidation factor, the Cougs only made it to the free throw line for a total of 5-attempts. If you aren’t willing to work inside, the officials won’t have much reason to call a foul.
Coach Bone will have a couple of days to see if he can come up with a game plan the current roster can execute successfully. The Cougs play Cal this Saturday afternoon at 1pm at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley. Washington State will face a Bears team that is similar in many ways to the Cardinal.
WSU must come up with a different strategy to gain a different result.
* In case you missed seeing the game, we’ve added some photos for you to check out. Use the ‘Prev‘ and ‘Next‘ arrows to browse.