Washington State (9-5) at Stanford (9-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 9, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Maples Pavilion (7,329) -- Stanford, California. Television: Pac-12 Network. Home Record: Washington State 7-2, Stanford 6-1. Away Record: Washington State 0-1, Stanford 1-3. Neutral Record: Washington State 2-2, Stanford 2-2. Conference Record: Washington State 0-1, Stanford 0-2. Series Record: Stanford leads, 69-59.
GAMES NOTES: The Stanford Cardinal will open up a three-game homestand on Wednesday night when they host the Washington State Cougars in a battle of nine-win teams in Pac-12 Conference play at Maples Pavilion.
In their conference opener this past Saturday the Cougars were dismissed by rival Washington, 68-63. The loss ended a four-game win streak for Washington State which is now 9-5 overall this season. This is just the second true road test of the campaign for Washington State which lost to Pepperdine in overtime.
Stanford suffered back-to-back losses in its first two conference games with the most recent setback a 68-60 loss to UCLA. The Cardinal had won five of their previous six before the mini-losing streak and are currently 9-6 overall. That has included a solid 6-1 mark at Maples Pavilion. Stanford will face Washington and California in the other two games of the homestand.
These teams met just once last season when Washington State posted an 81-69 victory at home. Stanford leads the all-time series, 69-59.
The Cougars led by as many as 17 points against the Huskies in their recent loss. The Cougars were especially brutal offensively in the first half when they shot just 27.6 percent from the floor. Meanwhile the Huskies shot better than 50 percent in each half.
Despite having one of the best scorers in the conference in Brock Motum (19.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg), the Cougars are still one of the worst offensive squads in the Pac-12. The Cougars are scoring just 63.9 points per game, which is the second worst mark in the conference. The Cougars are also one of the worst rebounding teams, ranking second to last in that category as well (35.8 rpg). Washington State has been able to overcome those shortcomings by playing well on the defensive end as the Cougars are limiting teams to 56.1 points per game on 38.4 percent shooting, both top 40 marks nationally. Motum really is the only consistent offensive force on the team as he has scored in double figures in every game this season and hits on 49.5 percent of his shots from the floor. DaVonte Lacy (11.6 ppg) provides a scoring complement in the backcourt.
Stanford got no closer than five points in the second half against UCLA, as the Cardinal trailed by double digits for much of the final 20 minutes in the loss. Stanford managed to shoot just 34.4 percent from the field and was outscored 23-9 from the free-throw line.
In the setback the Cardinal did outscore the Bruins from beyond the arc, 21-9, as the team continues to rely on shots from long distance. The Cardinal have attempted the third-most 3-pointers in the conference (287) but are shooting the lowest percentage (.293). The Cardinal are also the worst shooting team overall (.403) in the Pac-12 and the fourth-worst scoring team (69.5 ppg). Dwight Powell (14.4 ppg, 7.5 rpg) and Chasson Randle (13.1 ppg) are the two top offensive options. Randle has been a primary ball-handler. Josh Huestis (9.2 ppg, 9.2 rpg) is a capable scorer and rebounder as well for the Cardinal.
With the size the Cardinal have inside, Stanford should be able to keep Motum in check. Without other offensive weapons the Cougars will struggle to pull out a win on the road.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Stanford 71, Washington State 64
01/09 10:33:12 ET