Stanford vs. Washington State: Tree Up, Tree Down

Five minutes into the second half of last night's game in Pullman, Stanford was well on its way to something that's been hard to come by in recent years -- a comfortable road win. The only thing that would prevent Stanford from making it to Seattle tied atop the Pac-12 standings was a road closure on I-90. Or so it seemed. The Cardinal's 13-point lead evaporated and turned into an ugly 81-69 defeat. Here's a look at three good and three bad things from the loss.

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Josh Owens

Owens was a perfect 8-for-8 from the field, 3-for-3 from the FT line, and finished with a team-high 19 points, but he didn't score in the final 9 minutes of the game. "Josh was playing well and we just didn't get him enough touches in the second half," head coach Johnny Dawkins said after the game. "Credit their defense a lot for that, too. They recognized we wanted to get Josh the ball, so they kept the paint congested and made it difficult for us to get the ball to him." I don't care if he needs to dribble the ball up court, Josh Owens needs more touches.

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Chasson Randle

Randle didn't have a great night, but he was the only Stanford player knocking down 3-pointers (5-for-11). He didn't commit a turnover, but he also wasn't attacking the basket with any regularity, as evidenced by his 0-for-0 line in the free throw column.

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Washington State Fans

An announced crowd of 3,119 braved the snow and ice to make it to the game and they were rewarded with the Cougars' best win of the season.

3-Point Shooting

Stanford shot 3-for-14 from beyond the arc in the first half, but drilled three consecutive 3-pointers after the break to build a 40-29 lead. Washington State stuck with its 2-3 zone to neutralize Owens' effectiveness in the paint and the Cardinal kept firing 3s. Problem was, most of them missed the mark. Stanford missed 13 of its final 16 3-point attempts and finished 8-for-33 in the game. Aaron Bright was 1-for-8; John Gage was 1-for-7.


Second Half Defense

Faisal Aden took control for the Cougars in the second half, making 6 of 8 shots and hitting all 11 of his free throws en route to a career-high 33 points. "We were trying to stop him," Dawkins said. "He was on fire."


At-Large Hopes

Wins over Washington and Cal might be enough to negate last night's loss, but Stanford's NCAA Tournament resume took a big hit and the Cardinal's margin for error got a lot smaller. Washington State entered the game with an RPI of 161.

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