Washington State dropped to 6-6 in Pac-10 play after a 75-62 loss to Stanford, Thursday at Friel Court. After trailing by 17 at the half, the Cougars were able to bounce back and draw within one with 8:30 left in the game, but ran out of gas as the Cardinal regained their stride in the closing minutes.
Player of the Game: DeAngelo Casto. Casto led the team with 22 points on the night, the most since he set his career high of 25 against Arizona State, Jan. 20. Though many of his points weren't pretty, he was able to corral loose balls underneath the basket and put them back up for layups. Not only was Casto effective, but he was efficient as well. The junior was almost perfect from the field, finishing 10-for-11.
Play of the Game: Capers' Swat. Tonight's play of the game almost made me feel sorry for Stanford's 5-11 guard Aaron Bright. With 13 minutes left in the game, and the Cougars on a roll, Bright stole the ball from Faisal Aden and was on a break to basket with 60 feet of open floor. What Bright didn't know is that the Marcus Capers was striding right behind him from the 3-point line to the rim. As quick as Bright put the ball up, Capers' hand sent it back down to the floor. Not only did the block deny two points for the Cardinal, it led to a transition layup by Brock Motum.
Turning Point: Stanford's Answer. The Cougars came out looking like a different team after the halftime break, extending their defense the length of the floor and playing with an intensity that brought the home court advantage back into play. WSU trailed by eight with 10:30 left in the game, but a 7-0 run brought the lead down to one point, the closest the Cougars had been since the opening tip. Just as the Cougars looked as if they would earn their first lead of the game, Stanford's Anthony Brown drained a jumper that spurred a 6-0 run for the Cardinal. The Cougars never came closer than five points in the last six minutes of the game.
Stat of the Game: 3-Point Shooting.WSU put up a 48 percent shooting clip from the floor tonight, but went only 3-of-18 from behind the arc. Some credit has to go to the Stanford defense for applying pressure to both Klay Thompson and Faisal Aden who went a combined 1-for-11. At the other end of the spectrum, Stanford opened the game on fire, draining its first seven 3-point shots.
The Cougars will face California team which comes to Pullman for a 3 p.m. matchup, Saturday Feb. 12. Both teams will enter the game at 6-6 in the Pac-10, looking to regain a winning record in conference play.
Until Next Time, Go Cougs!