washington state blog

Pac 12 Update: Reasons The Cougars Beat The Cardinal this week

Huge conference win for WSU

The Washington State University hoops team snapped their 3-game losing streak with a solid 81-69 win over Stanford on Thursday night. With the win the Cougars moved to 10-8 on the season and 2-4 in Pac 12 play while the Cardinal fell to 15-4 and 5-2. The win by WSU was their first one in Pullman since mid-December, as 3 of their last “home” games have been in Spokane and Seattle. Here are 5 reasons why Washington State beat Stanford.

1. Faisal Aden stepped up

WSU’s 2nd leading scorer Faisal Aden (14.5 ppg) had a big game going for 33 points and leading scorer Brock Motum (15.4 ppg) chimed in for 16 points. Aden came off the bench in the Stanford game and was 10/17 from the field and while he missed all 3 of his 3-pointers he attacked the rim all night and was a perfect 13/13 from the charity stripe.

2. Free throws matter

The Cougars were solid in the game trying to get easy buckets and that caused Stanford to send WSU to the free throw line 29 times. The Cougars were white-hot from the charity stripe hitting 27/29 of their attempts for a scorching free-throw percentage of 93.1%. On the other side of the coin the Cardinal was only 13/19 from the line.

3. Cougars played solid perimeter D

Faisal Aden stepped up for the Cougs against Stanford

WSU got it done playing perimeter defense, as even though Cardinal guards Aaron Bright and Chasson Randle combined to score 23 points they only shot a combined 7/23 from the field. Bright was only 1/8 from beyond the 3-point arc and the Cougars did not allow Randle to get in the lane, as all of his field goals were on 3-pointers.

4. WSU hit the glass

The Cardinal rank 60th in the nation in rebounds per game while the Cougars only rank 253rd. That was a big concern for WSU coming into the game, but they out-rebounded Stanford 29-27. F Brock Motum led the Cougars with 6 boards and the Cougars got it done on the glass as a team with 6 players grabbing at least 3 rebounds.

5. The 3 would not fall for the Cardinal

Stanford took 33 3-pointers in the game and only hit on 8 of them for a 3-pt FG% of 24.2%.

Next Up: The Cougars came away with the Stanford win with a ton of confidence against the Cardinal, who were tied for first place in the Pac 12 before the game.

However, in their next game, which is at home, WSU takes on first place Cal, who are 126-4 overall and have only lost 1 conference game all season (6-1).

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