Things refuse to get better for Washington State, which lost its 12th game in a row when the Stanford Cardinal defeated the Cougars on Thursday night, 72-56.
It was thought that the Cardinal -- who entered the game with just five conference wins -- represented the Cougars' best chance for the remainder of the season to break this long losing streak. And it looked like the Cougars had a fighting chance when a Brett Boese 3-pointer pulled them to within one point at 15-14, seven minutes into the game.
It was mostly downhill from there.
The WSU offense, which has been the main catalyst for the lack of wins since early January, was even worse than usual in the first half; shooting just 29 percent overall, the Cougars scored just 24 points on 0.77 points per possession against the Cardinal, who had allowed 1.07 points per possession to everyone else in league play.
Meanwhile, Stanford scored 35 points, led by sophomore Michael Humphrey, the latest in the Guys Who Seemingly Come Out Of Nowhere To Destroy The Cougs club. Averaging just nine points on the season, Humphrey scored 11 points while also chipping in five rebounds, two blocks and an assist to help Stanford take an 11-point lead into the locker room.
To their credit, the Cougars have continued to play hard for Ernie Kent even as the results have been dismal, and they were able to scratch back to within two points by starting the second half on an 11-2 run fueled by Conor Clifford's presence on the interior. He scored seven points on the run, while Que Johnson contributed four.
But Stanford countered that with a 14-5 run of its own to extend the lead back out to 11 at 51-40 with 9:26 to play and put the game away; WSU would get no closer than nine points for the remainder of the game.
Humphrey finished with 26 points, 10 rebounds, four steals, three blocks and one assist to get a heck of a head start on his Pac-12 player of the week honors. Josh Hawkinson had 17 points, 12 rebounds and one awesome dunk.
It was his 18th double-double of the year, most in the Pac-12. Johnson finished with 14 points on 13 shots, while Clifford offset his nine points with five more turnovers. Ike Iroegbu had just five points on an off shooting night, but he found other ways to contribute with seven rebounds and four assists against zero turnovers.
The Cougs are back at it on Sunday against Cal for Senior Day. Tipoff is at 5:30 p.m. PT and the game will be broadcast on ESPNU.