Stanford gave a hint on Thursday as to why it was picked to finish last in the Pac-10.
Shortcomings in experience, athleticism and ball-handling were among the problems the Cardinal were expected to face this season, and Stanford could not handle Washington’s defensive quickness and intensity in Seattle.
The Cardinal struggled to score at all in the first half, going nearly eight minutes without a point in one stretch as Washington blew out the Cardinal 94-61.
The Cardinal (8-8, 2-2) is no longer tied for first place in the Pac-10 and has lost by lopsided margins in both its conference road games. The Cardinal is 1-10 in Pac-10 road games since the start of last season. However, the two road losses this season were to the teams picked to finish first and second in the Pac-10.
The Cardinal must try to rebound to gain a split of the weekend road trip in Saturday’s game at Washington State, which lost at home to Cal on Thursday. The Cardinal responded favorably after its lopsided loss to Cal last week.
Despite twisting his knee on Monday and missing practice on Tuesday, Stanford forward Andrew Zimmermann played and started on Thursday with no apparent ill-effects.
Washington is the kind of team that figures to bother the Cardinal. The Huskies (11-5, 2-3) have athletes and quickness all over the court, and they simply overwhelmed the Cardinal. Stanford committed 13 of its 20 turnovers in the first half, when the game was decided. Stanford got behind by 20 points late in the first half and was never in the game.
Landry Fields was the only Cardinal player who could do much offensively in the first half. He had 13 of his team’s first 18 points and finished the game with 17.
But Jeremy Green, who had been the Pac-10’s top scorer in conference games after averaging 23.3 points in the first three games, missed his first three shots against Washington defender Isaiah Thomas, who frequently got double-team help on Green. Green’s first points came with 2:43 left in the firswt half when the Cardinal was already well behind. He finished with seven points and was 0-for-3 on three-pointers.
Stanford point guard Jarrett Mann had trouble running the Cardinal offense against the Huskies defenders, primarily Abdul Gaddy and Venoy Overton.
The Cardinal trailed just 7-6 with 17:03 left in the first half, but failed to score again until 9:19 remained in the half. By that time Washington had scored 12 straight points to take complete control.
Washington’s Quincy Pondexter broke out of a scoring slump by collecting 27 points on 12-for-16 shooting to help the Huskies end their three-game losing streak.
Gaddy had one of his best games offensively, hitting 5 of 6 shjots from the floor for 10 points, and Thomas had 15 points, although he was just 4-for-12 from the field.
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