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WSU still can’t crack Cardinal code, fall to No. 2 Stanford, 82-44

A promising start went south in a hurry.

PULLMAN, WA - DECEMBER 12: Washington State Women’s Basketball versus the Boise State Broncos at Beasley Coliseum - Team huddle Jack Ellis/CougCenter

The Washington State Cougars were overwhelmed by the No. 2 Stanford Cardinal in the final three quarters at Beasley Coliseum as the Cardinal coasted to an 82-44 win over the Cougars.

The Cougars (9-4 overall, 1-1 Pac-12) have now lost all 70 games they’ve played against the Cardinal (9-3, 1-0).

The Cardinal fully seized control of the game in the third quarter when they were able to balloon their lead up to 19 just before the halfway point in the quarter. The Cardinal outscored the Cougars 65-29 in the final three quarters of play.

Washington State kept it close through the first 10 minutes of play, leading by as many as six in the opening quarter and trailing only by two at the end of it. The Cougars couldn’t buy a bucket to start the second quarter, however, as Stanford opened it with a 12-0 run. Charlisse Leger-Walker scored seven of the Cougars’ 11 second quarter points in the final 4:30 to pull WSU within a manageable 10-point deficit at the halftime break.

The second half belonged entirely to the defending national champion Cardinal. After a Krystal Leger-Walker jumper pulled the Cougars back within single digits to open the third quarter, Stanford dashed the hopes of the underdog Cougars with a 14-5 run to push the lead up to 19. The Cardinal flexed their muscles and turned the game into a full blowout in the fourth, outscoring the Cougars 24-3 to polish off a 38-point victory over the Cougars.

All-American candidate Haley Jones was a force for the Cardinal, securing a double-double by halftime and finishing with a season-high 24 points. The Leger-Walker sisters combined for 27 points.

It was a disappointing result for Kamie Ethridge’s crew, which had hoped they’d made up some ground on Stanford in the last two years. The Cardinal are simply the better team and it showed. Ethridge acknowledged the talent gap that helped the Cardinal beat the Cougars by 38, but also said the Cougars lacked some effort.

“We were bad in every phase.” Ethridge said.

The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Cougars. WSU travels to No. 4 Arizona on Friday night to kick off a four-game road trip.