Cougars Fall Short in Defensive Battle with No. 10 Stanford 72-56
February 21, 1998
STANFORD, Calif. - Ryan Mendez scored a game-high 15 points as tenth-ranked Stanford defeated Washington State 72-56 Saturday night before a sell-out crowd of 7,391 at Maples Pavilion.
The two top defensive teams in the Pacific-10 Conference went head-to-head and it showed. The Cougars (9-17 overall, 2-13 Pac-10) shot a season-low 31.1 percent en route to their lowest scoring output of the season. The Cardinal (23-3 overall, 12-2 Pac-10) also produced a season-worst 35.1 percent from the field.
For the first time all season no Cougar starter scored in double figures. Sophomore Chris Crosby celebrated his 20th birthday as he came off the bench to pace WSU with 14 points, including three 3-point baskets. Mendez also played a reserve role for the Cardinal and knocked down five 3-pointers.
Stanford put together a 14-0 first half run and led by as many as 18 points before the Cardinal settled for a 36-26 halftime lead. WSU cut that lead to six points, 49-43, at the 10:28 mark of the second half after a Crosby 3-pointer.
The Cardinal got 10 of their final 12 points at the free throw line as Stanford outscored the Cougars 12-3 over the final 3:31.
Quotes from Washington State head coach Kevin Eastman - "That was one of the top defensive performances I've been involved in. We just can't put the ball in the basket."
Quotes from Stanford head coach Mike Montgomery - "That wasn't very pretty.
We just seemed to lack emotion from the get go. I certainly have to take
some of the responsibility. I wasn't really ready to play either. We
really weren't together out there in terms of execution. We got a great
lift from our bench. (Mendez) and (Moseley) came in there and played well.
In the second half, it was just two teams shooting poorly. We got the win
even though it wasn't our best effort."
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