Easy Pickens for Stanford men in hoops win over Cougars

Dorian Pickens scored a career-high 28 points to help Stanford beat Washington State on Thursday night. Photo by Al Sermeno/

Nothing about this Stanford men's basketball season has been predictable thus far and that's because it's hard to predict when things start clicking for the wealth of freshmen that help make up the roster.

Hang on to those hats and coattails, this is certain to be a bumpy ride and that means hitting every pot hole and still keep the ship together.

Kezie Okpala/Stanford Athletics
The Cardinal made it a season-best three in a row Thursday night, beating host Washington State 79-70 after (again!) trailing in the second half.

Those Pac-12 standings, with Stanford rooted in a second-place tie, are more topsy than turvy and are just another reason to expect the unreasonable.

Dorian Pickens once again stepped forward, scoring a career-best 28 points a week after doing the same thing against UCLA. He hit another seven 3-pointers and needed 10 attempts to accomplish the feat.

The prediction business, always a high risk venture, comes with some rewards. It was thought Stanford would go nowhere without Reid Travis playing at a high level. If he's off, that usually meant bad news.

Pickens, Daejon Davis and Kezie Okpala have all thrown a wrench into that engine. Davis has grown into a solid point guard (no turnovers!) just 17 games into his college career. Heck, Okpala took a mere 153 minutes over five games to show his potential.

The Cardinal (9-8, 3-1) has a chance to make it four in a row when it travels to Seattle, a city Davis calls home, for a 5 p.m. game against Washington on Saturday. Warning: Stanford hasn't had much recent success against the Huskies.

Stanford beat the Cougars for the seventh time in eight games. Washington is 12-5 in its last 17 meetings with the Cardinal and 11-2 in the past 13 games played in Seattle.

The Cougars led 55-47 when WSU's Kwinton Hinson committed a hard foul on 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.

Okpala scored a season-high 21 points and Davis scored his 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting.

Stanford was out-rebounded 38-22, but overcame that by shooting over 50 percent (27 of 52).

— Palo Alto Online Sports


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