This time defense accompanied the Stanford men's basketball team and it made a big difference in Pullman.
Michael Humphrey scored a career-high 26 points to go with 10 rebounds and the Cardinal bounced host Washington State, 72-56, in a Pac-12 Conference contest Thursday. He also blocked three shots and recorded four steals.
Stanford (13-11, 6-7 Pac-12) won back-to-back games for the first time since a three-game streak Dec. 27-Jan. 1. The Cardinal hopes to carry the momentum into Saturday's 5 p.m. game at Washington.
The victory, combined with Utah's 75-73 win at UCLA, moved Stanford into an eighth-place tie with Oregon State while the Bruins take over the 10th spot in the standings. It's as good as the Cardinal could hope for in Thursday's results.
Humphrey, who has been limited the past few games due to injury, hit a career best 10 field goals in 15 attempts. He was perfect from the foul line and made both of his 3-point attempts in recording his third double-double of the season and the fourth of his career. He opened the season with back-to-back double-doubles.
Rosco Allen and Dorian Pickens each added 14 points for Stanford, which snapped a four-game road losing streak by beating the Cougars for the sixth time in seven meetings.
Pickens has provided a spark off the bench the past two games, netting a combined 30 points. The sophomore guard averages 7.4 points a game as a starter and 12.9 coming off the bench.
The Cougars opened the second half with an 11-2 run, cutting Stanford's lead to 37-35 with 16:18 remaining to play.
Washington State was still within three points a couple of minutes later when Pickens drained a 3-pointer and the Cougars never got closer than six the rest of the way. Stanford maintained a double-digit advantage the final six minutes.
Grant Verhoeven nailed a 3-pointer, his third in as many tries this year, to give the Cardinal the lead for good just over five minutes into the contest.
Stanford eventually built a 35-24 halftime edge.