Cardinal Shocks Cougars In Pullman!

Men's Hoops Editor Ray Salloom provides the Bootleg faithful a look at the game flow, stats, and facts after Stanford was hotter than a pistol to start, lost almost all of their lead in the second half, then finally buckled down and battled their way to a 75-62 win at the Washington State Cougars on Thursday night.

The Stanford Cardinal came into Thursday night's game in Pullman, Washington off of a 2-2 homestand and looking to get back to .500 in the Pac-10 Conference.  After roaring out to a 17-point lead at the half, Stanford saw their lead cut to just one before some key shots dropped and the Cardinal completed the upset, defeating the Washington State Cougars by a final score of 75-62.  Stanford moves to 13-10 on the year, 6-6 in conference play, while Washington State drops to 16-8, 6-6 in league play.

After two Brock Motum free throws shaved Stanford's lead down to one, 56-55, with 8:38 to go, Anthony Brown hit a jumper from near the free throw line to bump the precarious advantage back up to three.  After Faisel Aden and Klay Thompson missed three-pointers on the Cougars' next two possessions, two free throws from Dwight Powell brought the edge up to five.  Washington State would get no closer the rest of the way as Stanford made seven of eight from the charity stripe and Jeremy Green canned a late long ball, while the home team managed to hit just two field goals in the final 6:03 of the contest.

Stanford was led by Green's 24 points on 7-9 shooting, including another 5-for-5 performance from beyond the arc, along with the same mark from the free throw line.  Powell scored 16, Brown had 12, and Jarrett Mann finished with seven points and a career high 11 assists against just two turnovers for the victors.  Washington State was led by DeAngelo Casto's nearly perfect night from the field as he scored 22 points on 10-11 shooting, but the big man was just 2-7 from the free throw line.  Thompson was the only other player in double figures, getting 15 for the Cougars.

The Cardinal, up 45-28 at the break, couldn't find the same hot start as they had to begin the game, missing their first six shots in over six minutes of play.  Meanwhile, Washington State came out inspired and started the half on a 13-3 streak, cutting lead down to 48-41 before a jumper by Green stopped the bleeding momentarily.  WSU continued to ramp up the defensive pressure and got timely makes from Thompson, Motum, and Marcus Capers to bring the advantage down to just four before Green drained one of his three-pointers to make it a 54-47 contest with 11:58 to go in the game.  The Cougars, however, continued to chip away at the lead, finishing their opening salvo at 27-11 after Motum's freebies.

Stanford finished the game shooting 50% from the field (62% in the first half and 33% in the second), including 56% from beyond the arc and 84% at the free throw line.  Washington State countered with 48% field goal shooting, 17% (3-18) at the three-point line and a disappointing 47% at the charity stripe, including just 3-10 in the first half.  The Cardinal outrebounded the Cougars 31-28 and had 20 assists to 11 turnovers, to WSU's 14 assists and 12 turnovers.  Stanford scored 16 points off Cougar miscues while the home team only netted five from Stanford's mistakes.

Just 2:08 into the game, the Cardinal were able to jump out to an 8-0 lead before a Casto layup cut the lead to three, 14-11, with 15:12 to go in the first half.  With the Cougars still down just three at 18-15, Stanford's O and D played at a phenomenal level, racing out to a 25-9 stretch over the next 9:52, highlighted by the visitors making their first seven three-pointers of the half.

Stanford next takes on the Washington Huskies, a team they upset at Maples the last time the two teams met, in Seattle.  Game time is slated for 5:30pm. 
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