Photo credit: @StanfordMBB
By: Ana Kieu
Stanford Cardinal men’s basketball lit up the scoreboard, got the conference win and snapped a two-game losing skid with a 98-50 rout of the Washington State Cougars inside Maples Pavilion Thursday evening. Moreover, it’s safe to say that the Cardinal clobbered the Cougars after suffering back-to-back defeats in the Grand Canyon State at the hands of the Arizona State Sun Devils and Arizona Wildcats on February 20th and February 24th.
In the win over WSU, Stanford (15-13, 8-8 Pac-12) was led by KZ Okpala, who scored 22 points.
“I made the right plays tonight,” Okpala said. “We were all locked in with each other. We came out and did what we had to do.”
Cormac Ryan hit four 3-pointers as well. This led to the Cardinal earning their chance to extend their winning streak against the Cougars to six games.
“I thought our energy level was off the charts,” Stanford head coach Jerod Haase said. “I loved our energy defensively.”
No. 25 Washington watched their three-game winning streak come to an end Thursday night as the Cardinal’s rival, the Cal Golden Bears, edged the road team 76-73 for the upset. Not only that, Cal finally snapped their 16-game losing skid, which was a great feeling for the players and coaches to say the very least. But as you might’ve guessed, this will likely be a challenge for Stanford, who has been rather wishy-washy this season. Stanford can put on a show or simply freeze into ice on the hardwood.
The Cardinal’s second to last home game at Maples will be against No. 25 Washington Sunday afternoon at 1:00 pm PST on the Pac-12 Network. Yes, Stanford has home court advantage, but there’s a reason or two on why Washington found its way back into the AP polls, so the Cardinal has to put on another spectacular performance to prove that they can, too, be a hot-shooting team.
I predict that the Cardinal will fall to No. 25 Washington 75-73. After all, No. 25 Washington likely wants to be crowned as Pac-12 Champions. All they need is one win in the Bay Area to do just that.