STANFORD, Calif. – Anthony Brown offered several reasons for Stanford’s poor start, and he didn’t sound entirely sold on any of them.
“Maybe it was the early starting time (noon), I don’t know,” Brown said of the Cardinal missing nine of its first 10 shots. “It could have been any number of things. It was a sluggish start.”
Chasson Randle scored 17 of his 18 points in the second half and Stanford opened Pac-12 play with a 71-56 victory over Washington State on Friday.
“Give them a lot of credit,” Cardinal coach Johnny Dawkins said of the Cougars. “They came out with a good game plan and played with a lot of energy.
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“We were fortunate to come back in the first half and then win the second half.”
Washington State (6-7) lost its seventh consecutive conference opener. The Cougars led by 10 points with 13:47 left in the first half. WSU had trouble shooting, as it made 32.6 percent of its field-goal attempts and 61.5 percent of its free throws.
“We were excellent in executing our game plan, particularly in the first 10 minutes of the game,” Cougars coach Ernie Kent said. “We had an opportunity to really put them in a big hole, but we took some really quick shots — out-of-rhythm shots. Consequently, we missed those shots. In the second half, they were the aggressors.”
Josh Hawkinson had a team-high 11 points and an unusual stat line. He was 0 for 7 from the field and 11 of 15 from the free-throw line. The sophomore forward from Shorewood High School in Shoreline had a game-high 15 rebounds and has posted a double-double in each of the last five games.
WSU has lost five times in a row to Stanford.
“We sort of let this one get away from us,” Hawkinson said. “They put it together in the second half.”
Brown contributed 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Cardinal (9-3), which won its fourth straight. Stanford’s Stefan Nastic added 16 points and seven rebounds.