Senior Day didn’t come with a happy ending for the Washington State Cougars as the Stanford Cardinal were able to blow the game open in the second half and cruise to a 75-57 victory at Beasley Coliseum.
Junior guard Isaac Bonton, the team’s second-leading scorer, missed his third consecutive game with a hip injury, and for the third consecutive game, the offense struggled mightily. The Cougars — now 14-14 overall and 5-10 in the Pac-12 — scored just 0.90 points per possession and posted an effective field goal percentage of 37.5. Their last three games have represented three of their nine worst efficiencies and three of their four worst shooting performances of the season.
The game was tight early on, with a Tony Miller layup tying the game for the second time with just over seven minutes remaining. It was a low-scoring affair up until that point, with the WSU defense holding Stanford down in a way it wasn’t able to do in the first matchup.
But the Cardinal went on a 15-1 run, keyed by a trio of 3-pointers to surge to a 14-point lead. The Cougars were able to walk it back a bit, as a CJ Elleby 3-pointer with five seconds to go closed the gap to seven at halftime.
There was hope out of the break: Marvin Cannon drained a 3-pointer on WSU’s first possession to draw the Cougs within four. But an 11-3 run by the Cardinal stretched the lead back out to 12.
Still, the Cougars wouldn’t give up. WSU held Stanford scoreless for the next (almost) six minutes, something that should have allowed them to erase that 12-point gap. But with the current state of the offense — really, it’s just Elleby able to do any consistent damage — the Cougars could only trim eight points off the lead as Stanford missed shot after shot.
The opportunity passed. A little 6-0 spurt pushed the lead back out to double digits, then, a moment later, a 13-2 run gave Stanford a 68-50 lead with just under five minutes remaining, and the game was over.
Elleby led WSU with 22 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and two steals. Jervae Robinson, meanwhile, posted 14 points, six rebounds and five assists in his final game at Beasley Coliseum (postseason notwithstanding).
Jeff Pollard, the lone member of the senior class who played his entire career at WSU, finished with just four points and zero rebounds. But he did have the most touching moment of the day: After being pulled by Kyle Smith with under a minute to play in the game, Pollard made his way to center court and kissed the Cougar logo.
WSU now travels over the mountains for their rematch against the Washington Huskies on Friday. That game will be at 6 p.m. PT and broadcast on Fox Sports 1. There’s a chance Bonton could return.