Stanford is 12-10 overall this season and a lackluster 5-6 versus Pac-10 opposition. On a positive note, two of the last three outings have resulted in victory for the Cardinal, including last Saturday’s 83-75 triumph over Arizona State. The hope tonight for Stanford is that it can improve its poor 1-5 record in true road games.
Wins in four of the last six outings have enabled Washington State to improve to 16-7 overall and 6-5 in league action. Last Saturday, the Cougars played tremendous defense in a 61-55 road victory over Oregon State. They are 9-2 at home this season and figure to play with a wealth of confidence tonight.
Last month, Washington State edged Stanford by a 61-58 final, overshadowing the fact that the Cardinal still own a 68-58 series lead over the Cougars.
Stanford is far from explosive at the offensive end of the court, as the team is generating a modest 64.6 ppg on 42 percent shooting from the floor. Fortunately, the Cardinal have played extremely well at the defensive end, limiting foes to 62.1 ppg on 41.8 percent field goal efficiency. Jeremy Green leads Stanford with 14.9 ppg on 38.2 percent field goal efficiency, but he is a 40 percent shooter from three-point range. Josh Owens checks in with 11.8 ppg as the only other double-digit scorer on the roster, and the 58.8 percent shooter from the field is ripping down 7.0 rpg. Against Arizona State last Saturday, Stanford shot 52.2 percent from the field and nailed 10-of-18 three- pointers in the process. Green hit all five of his three-point attempts en route to 23 points, and Owens finished with 16.
Klay Thompson is considered by many fans and analysts to be the best player in the Pac-10 this year. The Washington State standout is averaging 21.2 ppg on the strength of his 41.7 percent shooting from three-point range, and he is also contributing 5.1 rpg, 4.3 apg, 45 steals and 26 blocks, proof of his outstanding versatility. Faisal Aden provides 13.6 ppg as a solid second scoring option, and DeAngelo Casto checks in with 10.6 ppg and 6.6 rpg. While the Cougars are generating 73.7 ppg at the offensive end, they are holding opponents to 64.8 ppg. Washington State committed 20 turnovers against Oregon State on Saturday, but the Cougars were able to overcome at carelessness by earning a 42-30 rebounding advantage and an 18-11 edge in points from the foul line. Thompson was held to six points in that affair, and the fact that his team won the game anyway is impressive.
Expect the Cougars to complete the season sweep of the Cardinal this evening, as Thompson will lead the way as usual.
GAME NOTES: The Stanford Cardinal and the Washington State Cougars are slated to do battle in a Pac-10 Conference affair tonight.
FACTS & STATS: Site: Beasley Coliseum (11,671) — Pullman, Washington. Television: None. Home Record: Stanford 10-3, Washington St. 9-2. Away Record: Stanford 1-5, Washington St. 4-4. Neutral Record: Stanford 1-2, Washington St. 3-1. Conference Record: Stanford 5-6, Washington St 6-5. Series Record: Stanford leads, 68-58.
Thursday, February 10th, 10:00 p.m. (et)
Washington State 75, Stanford 67