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RECAP: Stanford embarrasses WSU with 48-point beatdown

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Somehow, not showing up would have been better.

NCAA Basketball: Washington State at Stanford Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

There are a number of ways to measuring how a particular defeat might be worse than another and one way is the margin of the loss, and by that metric, the Washington State Cougars suffered the worst loss of Ernie Kent’s tenure with a 98-50 loss to the Stanford Cardinal on the road.

A 41-point loss to the Utah Utes at home two years ago moves to second place.

The Cardinal (15-13 overall, 8-8 Pac-12) were dominant from tip to finish. Thirty five seconds into the game, WSU (11-17, 4-11) tied it at two with a Davante Cooper dunk. Stanford then used separate runs of 11-0, 16-0 and 14-0 to build a mind-boggling 50-11 lead with 3:33 remaining in the first half.

WSU came into the game with a roughly 20 percent chance to win, according to kenpom.com. Five minutes later, with the score 13-2, the Cougars’ chances of winning had dropped to less than 8 percent. At 31-7, it was less than 2 percent. And by the time it hit 50-11, the chances were roughly 0.01 percent — with 23 minutes left to play.

One thing Craig and I talked about on the podcast was that Stanford was exceptionally good at defending threes. In that opening period, WSU shot 0-for-8 from deep, but also shot just 7 of 23 from two and got to the line just twice. Even with all those misses, they could only muster five offensive rebounds, and they also gave it away nine times, leading to 17 points off turnovers.

Meanwhile, Stanford had 15 layups and seven dunks in the opening period while also shooting 7 of 12 from beyond the arc, and that’s about all you need to know about the kind of effort WSU displayed on defense.

WSU didn’t score for the final 3:23 of the game, and on the night, the Cougars would score just 0.66 points per possession, which narrowly missed being one of the 10 worst offensive performances (by efficiency) of the last 20 or so years.

As you might expect, Ernie had an excuse reason for the no-show, although not the one that was expected. Viont’e Daniels, Jeff Pollard and Carter Skaggs all were unavailable because of concussions, but Ernie pointed to something else.

“There’s some things that have been brewing on this team and I’ve felt like they’ve grown apart a little bit,” Kent said. “They’ve got to be accountable to themselves, we were in a great rhythm coming out of the desert, but since we’ve been back home there’s been some stuff brewing and guys pulling each other apart.”

So ... yeah. The team has played its best run of basketball all year, with three wins in its last five, and now it’s coming apart at the seams? Did someone’s girlfriend cheat on them with a teammate or something? Regardless, it’s bizarre to air this to the world ... unless you’ve made a habit for years out of deflecting blame from yourself and blaming your players. Then it makes perfect sense.

Ever the teacher (lol), Ernie tried to frame this as he always does — as just another learning opportunity.

“You’ve got to understand what it takes to win at this level, what it takes to be a team at this level,” he said, following the 28th game of the season. “You’ve got to buy-in, if one guy doesn’t buy-in, two guys, it’s difficult. You cannot fake it, it can’t be one night we’re there and the next night we’re not. And that’s the lesson they’re learning right now, when we’ve bought in, this team was fantastic.”

Always remember: It’s always the fault of the players.

The Cougars’ next learning opportunity comes on Saturday against the California Golden Bears. At least of the Cougars lose to them, they won’t have ignominy of becoming the Bears’ first Pac-12 win.

That honor goes to the ... Washington Huskies?!?

Schadenfreude Makes You Feel Better!

If you’re wondering how that happened ... I don’t know either. I only watched the last three minutes, which featured some pretty terrible basketball from both teams. I just know that this is my everything:

Let’s check in with Cal fans:

But, Pac-12 Networks can always be counted on to find a silver lining for each team, no matter how bad it was for the loser. Although this tweet was sent after last night’s game, there do not appear to be any highlights of the game against Cal. Perhaps the deadline was too tight?

This is a good take on just how unlikely and plain-ass crazy the win was. Finally, Rick poses an interesting question:

I’m voting “losing to a 5-22 team.” At least until Saturday night, when I reserve the right to change my response.

Poll

Which is worse?

This poll is closed

  • 50%
    Losing by 48
    (150 votes)
  • 49%
    Losing to a 5-22 team
    (149 votes)
299 votes total Vote Now

Baseball wins!

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College baseball: Washington State rolls in 16-2 win over Nevada | SWX Right Now - Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA
Brody Barnum had three hits, including his first career home run, and Washington State routed Nevada 16-2 Thursday in a nonconference game.

Links

Stanford hands Washington State worst loss of Ernie Kent era in 98-50 beatdown at Maples Pavilion | The Spokesman-Review
Stanford delivered a healthy beating and dealt a historical loss to the Ernie Kent era at Washington State, drilling the Cougars 98-50 in front of an announced crowd of 3,139.

WSU hoops suffers worst loss in Ernie Kent era against Stanford - Cougfan.com
Kent didn’t point to the four injured Cougars as the quandary but rather issues between the team that’s suddenly snapped the streak of better play over the last few weeks.

Cougars Drop Road Contest at Stanford - Washington State University Athletics
WSU takes on Cal Saturday, March 2 at 4 p.m.

Stanford cancels Cougar Night, 98-50 - Rule Of Tree
Cardinal obliterate WSU to open home stand

WSU Gets Thoroughly Embarrassed by Stanford in 98-50 Defeat – Cougar Sports Network
Well, that game happened. It didn't appear that Washington State stepped off the bus as they were smacked by a mediocre Stanford Cardinal team Thursday Night in Palo Alto. The game was tied for a total of 55 seconds and Washington State at no point held a lead. Just last week it seemed that the…

Video: Washington State forward CJ Elleby post Stanford - The Spokesman-Review - March 1, 2019
Serving the Inland Northwest since 1883. Spokesman.com provides breaking and in-depth coverage of Spokane area news, sports and community.

Stanford Beats WSU 98-50: Cardinal Clobbers Cougars - The Bootleg
Stanford cruised to victory Thursday night at Maples Pavilion.

Cardinal defeat Washington State in blowout win – The Stanford Daily

NFL Combine Cougs: James Williams meets with Patriots - Cougfan.com

Pac-12 spring preview: Washington, Oregon, USC in spotlight | SI.com
As the weather warms up out west, there will be high hopes at Oregon, Washington and Utah—and uneasiness at USC.

Final Week of the Season Starts With Stanford - Washington State University Athletics
The women's basketball team takes on the Cardinal Friday night at Beasley.

Cougars Set Season Bests at Pac-12 Championships - Washington State University Athletics
Cougars set season-bests in 200 medley and 800 free relays.

Two Cougars to Attend US National Volleyball Team Tryouts - Washington State University Athletics

Cougars Post 4-2 win at Kansas State - Washington State University Athletics
WSU improves to 11-2 overall and 7-2 away from Pullman.

Cougars Hit Multiple Lifetime-Bests at Day Two of Pac-12 Championships - Washington State University Athletics
Ryan Falk and Chloe Larson etch their names in Cougar history,