Washington State seeks to increase its winning streak to a season-best three games when it hosts struggling Stanford on Saturday night in Pacific-12 Conference action in Pullman, Wash.
The Cougars (8-10, 3-4) recaptured their defensive magic from four days earlier when they shut down visiting Cal in the second half of a 66-51 victory Wednesday.
Washington State’s offense rebounded from a 3-for-10 effort on 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes and scorched the visitors in the second half with a 6-of-7 shooting stretch from long range, blowing open a game that had been just 31-30 in its favor at halftime.
The Cougars were equally effective on defense in the second half, holding the Golden Bears without a 3-pointer in 11 attempts after Cal had connected on 5-of-9 in the first half.
The most impressive part of the win, according to coach Kyle Smith, was that his team didn’t overlook Cal after stunning then-No. 5 Arizona on the road last Saturday.
“Great effort for our team coming off a big win,” Smith said. “You never know how your team is going to come out.”
The victory came without leading scorer TJ Bamba, who was out with a hand injury. DJ Rodman led the way with 14 points — 12 on 3-pointers — and six rebounds. Mouhamed Gueye also had 14 points.
Next up for the Cougars is another potential letdown spot against Stanford (5-11, 0-6), the last remaining winless team in the Pac-12.
The Cardinal appeared destined for better things when they ran off the game’s first seven points Thursday night at Washington. But Stanford watched the Huskies explode for 47 points over the remainder of the half to go up by 18 at the break and render the second period relatively meaningless.
Stanford needs a bounce-back effort from big man Maxime Reynaud, who had just four points and three rebounds against Washington.
The 7-foot sophomore had one of the best games of his college career Jan. 6 against Cal with 12 points and eight rebounds, five on the offensive end.
“The skill set Maxime has is extremely unique,” Stanford coach Jerod Haase told the athletic department’s website. “He can score with his back to the basket, put the ball on the floor and make plays for his teammates.”
–Field Level Media