Stanford men’s basketball (5-12, 0-7 Pac-12) lost a thrilling 60-59 game to the Washington State Cougars (9-10, 4-4 Pac-12) on Saturday night. With the loss, the team went 0-3 during its three-game road trip, and they remain the only winless team during conference play in the Pac-12.
After a quick 5-0 start by Washington State, Stanford responded in a timely manner, piecing together a 9-0 run thanks to a balanced scoring effort from junior forward Brandon Angel, sophomore forward Harrison Ingram and sophomore center Maxime Raynaud.
After the Cardinal held a 9-5 lead four and a half minutes into the game, both teams were eager to launch the 3-point shot. Within the next three minutes, both teams combined for five 3-point shots, with Stanford hitting two and Washington State hitting three. Justin Powell’s stepback jumpshot at the 10:50 mark allowed the Cougars to once again regain the lead. However, the Cardinal were able to assemble another 9-0 run to stretch their lead out to eight, the largest of the first half. From there, Washington State threatened to close the deficit thanks to an equitable scoring effort from the entire team. But Ingram continued to put pressure on the Washington State defense, finding the soft spots in the Cougar zone to exploit. At the end of the half, the score was 34-31 in favor of the Cardinal.
Ingram had one of his best halves of the year, tallying 14 points to go along with four rebounds and three assists. Raynaud followed Ingram with eight points, while senior forward Spencer Jones chipped in seven of his own. For Washington State, senior forward DJ Rodman accumulated nine points in the first half, while Mouhamed Geuye and Andrej Jakimoviski had six points each. Despite eight different players scoring during the first half, the Cougars still found themselves down at halftime.
At the beginning of the second half, both teams began to extend their defense further out on the perimeter, which resulted in slow offensive starts for both teams. This helped keep the score within one possession in the first 10 minutes. The game also became more physical, with Stanford getting into the bonus less than 10 minutes into the half.
The 3-point shooting of Jakimoviski allowed the Cougars to maintain a one to-two possession lead throughout most of the second half. Jakimoviski, who had 11 points in the second half, went 5-for-6 from the 3-point line. Later on, Rodman hit two clutch threes at the three-minute and-two minute marks to extend the Cougars’ lead to two possessions. However, Stanford prevented the game from becoming out of reach thanks to the offensive play of Spencer Jones, Raynaud and Ingram. Despite not scoring in the second half, Ingram was able to facilitate well down the stretch, tallying three assists.
Jones hit a jump hook with 1:22 left to make it a 3-point game, and later Raynaud made a layup as the shot clock was expiring to close Washington State’s lead to just one. After Raynaud’s basket, the Cardinal quickly fouled Jakimovski to put him on the line. With a one-and-one, Jakimovski’s shot drew iron, and Stanford rebounded the ball with 20 seconds remaining and no timeouts.
After a sloppy possession where the ball deflected out of bounds, the Cardinal inbounded the ball with 2.7 seconds remaining in the game. Raynaud caught the ball at the top of the key and launched a 3-point shot. After the ball grazed the rim, Brandon Angel attempted to tip the ball into the basket, but came up just short of giving Stanford their first conference victory.
Up next, the Cardinal will return home for a four-game homestand to round out their January schedule. On Thursday the team will face Oregon State (7-11, 1-6 Pac-12), who remains just one place above the Cardinal in the Pac-12 rankings. This is a prime opportunity for the Cardinal to capture their first Pac-12 win of the season.
Tip-off is scheduled at 8 p.m. PT at Maples Pavilion.