Huskies Beat Stanford 78-61 to Lose Road Jinx

Feb 14, 2010, 8:45 AM | Updated: Apr 5, 2011, 11:20 am

Quincy Pondexter asserted himself in the 2nd half after a Stanford comeback had erased an 18 point lead in the 1st half and Washington beat the Cardinal 78-61 in Palo Alto CA on Saturday.

The Dawgs had dominated Stanford in the 1st half, behind Isaiah Thomas who finished the game with 20 points, 14 before half-time. Washington could have put an even bigger lead on the Cardinal, but didn’t take advantage of many opportunities to do so at the foul line and with a number of good looks that they couldn’t cash in.

They let Stanford get three foul shots on a bad foul in the last second of the 1st half and Cardinal Drew Schiller hit all three shots to bring his team within 11 at the break. Stanford then came all the way back in the early stages of the 2nd half to come within 2 at 50-48 on a Jeremy Green lay-up with 13:37 to play. It was still 54-52 Washington with 9:40 to play when Andrew Zimmerman hit a lay-in, but at that point the Dawgs, led by Pondexter started to catch fire.

Pondexter had only 6 more points down the stretch, but he was involved in almost every key play either delivering an assist, making a defensive play or grabbing a steal. Now Washington returns home to face a USC team at Hec-Ed this Thursday at 7:30PM (PST).

The Trojans embarrassed them in LA 87-61 on January 23rd and provide a difficult match-up for the Dawgs that gave Quincy fits and held him to only 2 points. I will have a lot more analysis and coverage of the Dawgs and how this wild Pac-10 picture is shaping up after the holiday.

Cougs Lose Lead and Game to Bears 86-70

(Courtesy of Heath Harshman)

Washington State University keeps finding new ways to lose basketball games as they blew another double digit lead to the Cal Bears in Berkeley CA 86-70 on Saturday.

Despite leading at halftime of both of their games against Stanford and Cal this weekend by a combined 26 points, the Cougs turned those leads into a pair of losses. The loss to Stanford may have been tough to swallow for Cougar fans, but it’s the one against Cal that will have them fuming.

Against the conference leading Golden Bears the Cougs shot a solid 27-53 (50.9%) from the field and hit 7-20 (35%) from three point range. But 10-27 (37%) shooting and 13 turnovers in the second half for WSU sent them to 15-10 overall and 5-8 in Pac-10 play. The loss was the Coug’s 5th in six games, the only win coming at home to Arizona. The losses are also the first time WSU has been swept in a weekend in conference play.

Not even Klay Thompson returning to form could notch a victory for WSU. Thompson went off for 28 points in the game on 10-18 shooting, 5-9 from 3pt range, as well as grabbing a team high seven rebounds. While Thompson had arguably his best game since the January 16th meeting with Stanford, he slumped to just five points in the second half on 2-7 shooting from the field and 0-3 from beyond the arc.

Both teams started off shooting well with a combined 8-13 in the opening five minutes. After back and forth buckets got the teams off to a 10 all tie, WSU went on a 12-2 run to spread the lead to 22-12 with 11:41 remaining in the first half.

Cal answered the run with a 9-2 run of their own, with six of those nine being Jerome Randle threes. Randle had 24 points in the game, well shy of his 39 in the last meeting with the Cougars, but still nothing to be ashamed of.

Randle, who also put up 33 against Washington on Thursday night, was 7-17 in the game, but it was his 6-9 three point shooting that kept Wazzu from jumping out to a bigger halftime lead than they had. Randle also had four assists and four steals in the game, leading Cal to their ninth conference victory. The win puts Cal at 17-8 overall and 9-4 in the Pac-10, solidifying their conference lead.

It seemed as though WSU had all the answers in the first half. Whenever Cal would string a few threes together or start to close the gap, the Cougs buckled down on defense and got the lead back to where it was. Nine blocks and a 20-8 points in the paint advantage in the first half gave Wazzu a 45-34 halftime lead.

Cal started the comeback right after the halftime break, forcing three WSU turnovers in the opening minutes as they went on an 8-0 run to cut the Cougar lead to 45-42. Every Coug starter would end up with at least three turnovers, with Thompson leading the way at 4.

Cal would proceed to slowly devour WSU’s lead. The Golden Bears would then grab their first lead of the game since it was 8-5 after another Jerome Randle three gave Cal a 58-57 lead.

WSU would trade a few more buckets and take their last lead at 68-67, within a few minutes the game was out of reach and Wazzu Nation was wondering how exactly this one got away. Senior Jamal Boykin hit two free throws with 3:09 remaining to extend the Cal lead to 73-70. Klay Thompson then turned the ball over on the following WSU possession which led to an easy fast break bucket for Cal to push the lead to five, their largest of the game.

Coach Bone was arguing with the officials that Thompson was fouled on the turnover, but it was to no avail. The next Cougar possession saw WSU miss a three and a Xavier Thames foul. With Cal in the bonus, they were headed to the line for a one and one opportunity.

Coach Bone was then called for a technical foul, likely for arguing about the Thompson no call the possession before, and gave Cal four free throws and the opportunity to put the game away. They did.

The Golden Bears proceeded to hit 3 of the 4 free throws following the technical, now stretching the lead to eight at 78-70. With possession in Cal’s hands following the technical, the game was all but over. Cal stretched the lead to 86-70 in the final minutes, but the game was over long before that.

Sophomore DeAngelo Casto earned his third straight double digit point performance for the Cougs, the first time he’s achieved this feat in the crimson and gray.

Guards Marcus Capers and Reggie Moore both chipped in nine for Wazzu. Capers added five assists and was given the task of keeping super shooter Jerome Randle under wraps, which he did pretty well, although Capers was in foul trouble during the Cal comeback.

Moore on the other hand once again underachieved, compared to his form earlier in the season. Moore failed to find his scoring rhythm, not attempting a shot in the first half, and scored all nine of his points in the second half. He dished out three assists but three turnovers as well. Koprivica once again struggled shooting as well, scoring seven points on 3-8 shooting and 1-4 from three.

With the weekend’s losses a conference title would be a stretch for WSU who have five games left on the conference schedule. The Pac-10 tournament will be the last hope for the Cougs to try and get into the NCAA tournament, and seeding for that could be decisive.

A three game home stand is coming up next week with UCLA and USC coming to town followed by Washington’s visit the weekend after. I think that two wins out of the three games are necessary for the Cougs to get a decent seed going into the conference tournament.

Zags Beat San Diego to Establish Firm Grip on 1st Place 82-65

(Courtesy of Alex Dissing)

The San Diego Toreros came into The Kennel at McCarthey Athletic Center a struggling basketball team, losing three straight games and eight of their last nine. What a bad time to play the Zags. Gonzaga never trailed, beating San Diego in convincing fashion 82-65.

The Zags started off on fire, scoring the first 19 points of the game. They shot 11-14 from the field in the first 10 minutes, on their way to a 29-5 run. Guard Steven Gray connected on three 3 pointers in the first 5 minutes and would shoot well the whole game, shooting 5-8 and making all six of his free throws on his way to a team-high 19 points.

San Diego’s starting five had a hard time with a dominant Gonzaga man-on-man defense, shooting 0-5 from the field and committing five turnovers at the 15:24 mark. Gonzaga center Will Foster actually put the first Torero points on the board, blocking a shot with 14:06 remaining and being called for goaltending.

Senior guard Brandon Johnson, who was questionable with a groin injury, came off the bench and finally ignited the Torero offense leading them on a 20-6 run that brought San Diego within 10 with 5:10 remaining in the half. On what appeared to be a pointless bucket with 6:55 remaining in the half, Johnson became the San Diego Toreros’ all-time leading scorer.

Johnson has been plagued by injuries most of his career and despite holding the San Diego all-time scoring crown, one can only imagine what his collegiate career would’ve been if he had stayed healthy.

In what is becoming a frequent occurrence, Matt Bouldin hit a deep jumper with seconds remaining in the half that put Gonzaga up 47-31. Bouldin, who averages 14.3 points a game on 57.1% shooting in three career games against San Diego, had another impressive performance finishing with 16 points on 7-11 shooting.

In a half that saw Gonzaga shoot 17-23 (74%) from the field, Bouldin and Gray combined for 29 of the 47 points. The Zags forced 12 Torero turnovers and held them to only 11-25 (44%) shooting.

The closest the Toreros would come was within 12 early in the half when forward Ken Rancifer completed a three-point play from the free throw line. Rancifer would finish with 13 points off of the bench.

Although not as dominant as the first half, Gonzaga continued to shoot the ball well, allowing them to cruise to the 82-65 victory. The Zags finished 27-48 (56.3%) shooting.

Four players had double-digit scoring, including an unlikely name: forward Mangisto Arop. The freshman saw an increased amount of minutes in the blowout win, totaling a career high 13 points and nine rebounds.

Center Robert Sacre was the other Bulldog in double digits with 11 points, seven of which came from the charity stripe.

As if the night wasn’t good enough, Saint Mary’s lost in overtime to Portland 80-75, giving Gonzaga a full two game lead over the Gaels in the WCC.

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Huskies Beat Stanford 78-61 to Lose Road Jinx