Pickens scores 28, leads Stanford past Washington St. 79-70
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) Dorian Pickens had a career-high 28 points, including a key 3-pointer with 76 seconds left, to help Stanford beat Washington State 79-70 on Thursday night.
Pickens, who came in 10 of 35 from 3-point range this season, made 7-of-10 3-pointers. Freshman Kezie Okpala added a career-best 21 points and Daejon Davis scored 15 on 6-of-7 shooting for Stanford (9-8, 3-1 Pac-12).
The Cougars led 55-47 when WSU’s Kwinton Hinson committed a hard foul on Reid Travis and both players had to be separated by teammates. Stanford responded with a 21-3 run over the next nine minutes, 57 seconds, despite going six-plus minutes without a field goal during that stretch, to make it 68-58 with 6:26 to play. Washington State twice cut its deficit to three points from there, but Pickens hit two 3s as the Cardinal held on for its third win in a row.
Washington State made 11 of its first 12 field-goal attempts, including 4-of-4 3-pointers, but Pickens had 22 first-half points on 8-of-9 shooting. He hit back-to-back 3s to give Stanford a two-point lead before Malachi Flynn closed the half with three 3-pointers.
The Cardinal, who rallied for wins after being down 13 points at UCLA and 15 against USC, trailed 45-38 at halftime on Thursday.
”Pac-12 road games are always a big-time challenge and I thought in the second half we responded very, very well,” Stanford coach Jerod Haase said. ”We understood it was going to be a monster game and take our best effort. I think we did a lot of nice things. Not perfect, but a lot of nice things in the second half.”
Flynn led Washington State (8-8, 0-4) with 24 points, including seven 3-pointers. Milan Acquaah added 10 points, while Drick Bernstine scored eight and grabbed 12 rebounds. Robert Franks, who came in averaging a team-high 17.3 points per game, had eight points and six of WSU’s 22 turnovers.
An official collided with WSU player Viont’e Daniels early in the second half and had to leave the game due to injury.
”All of our officials do a tremendous job, they really do,” WSU coach Ernie Kent said. ”But for having our third game where a critical point in the game we collide with an official in the dead corner, there’s a problem with that. The game has changed. There’s no longer two players standing high up on the wings, teams run. We got to get that piece figured out as a league; we got to get it figured out as an officiating group. I am on a basketball committee and I am certainly going to talk about it.”
Travis, who came in the Pac-12’s third-leading scorer (21.3 per game) and Stanford’s second-leading rebounder (7.6), finished the game with six points and six rebounds.
Stanford: After come from behind wins against UCLA, USC and Washington State, the Cardinal have now won three straight games
Washington State: After starting the season 6-0, the Cougars are now 8-8 and have lost four straight to start Pac-12 play.
Stanford: The Cardinal travel to face Washington on Saturday.
Washington State: The Cougars will stay at home and face California on Saturday.