I said before the game that I didn't think tonight's game was a must-win. I suppose now we'll find out if that's true after letting Stanford shoot an absurd 54.2 percent as the Cardinal cruised to a 65-54 win.
Don't let anyone tell you the Cardinal just had a hot shooting night. I didn't have to see this game to know that this was probably one of our worst defensive efforts of the year.
This wasn't a result of turnovers, as it was against other teams; this was just horrendous halfcourt defense. People will point to the 9-of-13 3-point shooting, but I look at the 2-point percentage as a truer measure of our defense. We normally give up just 38.8 percent inside the arc; tonight it was 48.2 percent (14-of-29). That tells me this wasn't just a hot shooting night.
Ever wonder why teams generally don't have hot shooting nights against the Cougs? That's because when the WSU defense is right, it's virtually impossible for a team to do what Stanford did tonight. Teams are going to make some tough shots; that's just just nature of the beast. When you give them too many other good looks, that's when you end up with what we got tonight.
I just don't get it. How can a team be this far in the season, with so much hanging in the balance, and not bring its top defensive effort? I'm baffled, and I'm sure Tony is too.