The Stanford Cardinal beat the Washington State Cougars, 79-70, on Thursday night to hand them their eighth loss in 10 games and drop them to 0-4 in the Pac-12, leaving them as the only winless team in the conference.
The Cougs held a seven-point lead at halftime, 45-38, thanks largely to some excellent shooting — particularly from Malachi Flynn, who was 6-of-9 from 3-point range to lead the team with 18 points. The team shot 54 percent overall and had an effective field goal percentage of 66.
In the first few minutes of the second half, WSU extended the lead to nine.
But as strong as the first half was, the second half was just as weak: 30 percent overall, and an effective field goal percentage of just 35.
Meanwhile, Stanford surged. Oddly, the Cardinal did it without much contribution from their stud, Reid Travis — he scored just six points and grabbed six rebounds. Normally, that would portend well for an opponent, but Dorian Pickens (28 points), Kezie Okpala (21 points) and Daejon Davis (15 points) picked up the slack; together, they combined to shoot 22-of-32 from the field and 10-of-13 from the line.
In addition to the poor second half shooting, WSU was sabotaged by 22 turnovers; it was the second game in a row that the Cougars had turned it over on more than 30 percent of their possessions, and the fifth time in the last seven games they turned it over more than 20 percent of the time.
Only four of those 22 turnovers were steals by Stanford.
The Cougars host Cal on Saturday in what might be their last best chance to pick up a win for a while. Tip off is scheduled for 1 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Network.