Photo credit: @StanfordMBB
by Joey Friedman
PALO ALTO — The Stanford Cardinal (15-13, 8-8 in Pac-12) routed the Washington State Cougars (11-17, 4-11) by a final score of 98-50 on Thursday night after dropping two consecutive road games to the Arizona schools last weekend. They looked to redeem themselves against the 11th-seeded Cougars with the Pac-12 tournament just a 3-game home-stand away.
Stanford looked focused on both offense and defense to start the game. On the back of 6 forced turnovers, 4 steals, and 3 blocks and they stretched their lead to 24 points with the score 31-7 with 10 minutes left in the first half. In that time, Cormac Ryan made 3 of his first 4 three-pointers and KZ Okpala led the Cardinal with 11 points. Okpala finished the half with 16 points and 8 rebounds.
Ryan, battling two ailing ankles, played tonight game assisted by what appeared to be heavy-duty ankle braces.
Sophomore point guard Daejon Davis injured his knee midway through the first half. Although he didn’t return to the court, he did return to the bench with crutches later on. No update had been made available since.
Stanford’s lead only grew, as everything appeared to be going right for the Cardinal. They took a 52-15 lead to the locker room at the half. Stanford converted a remarkable 64% (7-12) of their three-pointers in the first half after combining for a 15% 3 pointer percentage in the two games against the Arizona schools on the road last week. They also smothered the Cougars who shot just 23% from the field in the first half and were kept scoreless from beyond the arc (0-8).
The second half was more of the same. Sophomore Isaac White hit 3 3-pointers of his own in the second half. He finished the game tied with Cormac Ryan for second on the team in points with 14.
Freshman Jaiden Delaire finished with 12 points, 8 of which came in the second half. Fellow freshman Bryce Wills also finished in double digits with 10 points to pair with 5 assists. Senior Josh Sharma had 8 points and 7 rebounds while freshman Lukas Kisunas had a career-high 7 rebounds. Two of Stanford starters, Deajon Davis and Oscar Da Silva, didn’t score.
Stanford finished the game shooting 60% from the field and 54% from 3-point range. Stanford also collected a total of 20 assists. They forced 15 WSU turnovers and collected 26 points off those turnovers as a result. Head coach Jerod Hasse praised Stanford’s energy level tonight, especially on defense.
Stanford will host the 25th ranked Washington Huskies on Sunday at 1:00 PM before they host the rival Cal Bears to close out the season. Washington is the 1-seed in the Pac-12 and the only school in the conference to be ranked.
Washington State will travel across The Bay to the 12-seed California Bears on Sunday at 4:00 PM before they host the Oregon schools to close out the regular season.