Feb. 2, 2008
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) -- Stanford coach Trent Johnson had some sound advice for his players in the heat of the No. 14 Cardinal's heart-stopping overtime win at Washington State on Saturday.
"I told the entire team to keep playing with poise," Johnson said after the 67-65 victory. "If there was any guy who was going to lose his composure, that would be me."
ADVERTISEMENT Actually, both teams lost their composure at the free throw line late in the second half, when either could have won it by making one more free throw.
The No. 9 Cougars made just four of their final nine free throws over the final 2:23 of regulation. Kyle Weaver missed one with 9.8 seconds left that would have been the winning point, and another in overtime that would have tied the game in the closing seconds.
"We had the game in our hands," said Weaver, who finished with 23 points and 11 rebounds. "When you've got free looks, you've got to sink them."
Stanford missed three of its last six free throws.
Robin Lopez hit a spinning layup with 12 seconds left in overtime that gave Stanford a 66-63 lead. Weaver had a chance to tie the game with three free throws on the next possession, but missed the second one to leave the Cardinal with a 66-65 lead.
Mitch Johnson made one of two free throws with 5.4 seconds left for the final score.
Washington State had a chance to tie in the closing seconds when Taylor Rochestie took the inbound pass and drove the length of the floor. But his layup bounced off the rim and Stanford won its fifth consecutive game.
Brook Lopez and Lawrence Hill led Stanford (18-3, 7-2 Pac-10) with 18 points each.
Derrick Low added 19 points for Washington State (17-4, 5-4), which lost its second straight home game. The Cougars have lost four of their past seven overall after opening the season with 14 wins.
"We all just lost focus," Low said. "It hurts to lose two games at home. I thought we played good."
The Cougars were handicapped when Aron Baynes, their best post player, got in early foul trouble and played just 15 minutes.
That allowed Stanford a 44-29 rebounding edge. Baynes had three points and two rebounds.
"We needed him," said Cougars coach Tony Bennett, who lost consecutive games for the first time in his two seasons in Pullman.
Johnson said his team can shut down opposing big men with 7-footers Brook and Robin Lopez filling the middle.
"I have two 7-foot kids in there and our goal is to not give any of the players an angle to the basket," Johnson said. "We did that tonight."
The Cardinal also got help from Hill, who started in place of injured Anthony Goods. Hill had 18 points and seven rebounds.
Goods has an injured ankle and will be evaluated Monday.
Stanford matched its win total for all of last season, and kept Washington State from climbing into second in the Pac-10 behind UCLA.
"I feel like we let one slip away, especially at home," Robbie Cowgill said.
The battle between two of the best defensive teams in the nation saw Washington State held to 34 percent shooting, but only four turnovers. Stanford shot 45 percent, but committed 17 turnovers.
The game was close throughout. Taj Finger's layup tied the score at 53 with 1:57 left in regulation.
Baynes made one of two free throws to give Washington State a 54-53 lead, and Hill did the same on the other end to tie it at 54 with 1:27 left.
Brook Lopez made two free throws for a 56-54 lead with 59 seconds left, but Weaver made one of two free throws to cut Stanford's lead to one with 46 seconds left.
Cowgill was fouled with 19 seconds left, but missed both free throws. After Johnson missed two free throws for Stanford, Weaver made one of two with 9.8 seconds left to tie the game at 56. Shots by Brook Lopez and Finger missed to send the game into overtime.
Hill's 3-pointer gave Stanford a 62-59 lead in the extra session.
Weaver made two free throws to cut the advantage to 62-61, but Robin Lopez scored off a tip-in. Cowgill's two free throws again cut the lead to 64-63 with 47 seconds left, setting up Robin Lopez's go-ahead layup.