Washington State aims to extend hot streak against stumbling Stanford

Feb 15, 2024; Pullman, Washington, USA; Washington State Cougars guard Myles Rice (2) runs the baseline against California Golden Bears forward Grant Newell (14) in the second half at Friel Court at Beasley Coliseum. Washington State Cougars won 84-65. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

It might be time to start taking the Washington State basketball team seriously.

The Cougars are just a half-game behind first-place Arizona in the Pac-12 standings entering Saturday afternoon’s game against Stanford in Pullman, Wash.

“A lot of people, they don’t wanna see Wazzu win. That’s how I feel,” WSU redshirt freshman guard Myles Rice said.

“We do have the story, but at the same time, I still think, deep down, people don’t think we don’t belong out here, and we’re showing that we can compete with the best.”

The Cougars (19-6, 10-4 Pac-12) have won six games in a row, including an 84-65 rout of visiting California on Thursday night as Rice scored 25 points and forward Isaac Jones added 21 points and nine rebounds.

Rice made three 3-pointers in the second half as WSU pulled away, avenging an overtime loss to the Golden Bears in the Bay Area last month.

“My teammates told me, you’re wide open, bro, just shoot it,” Rice said. “We work on it every day after practice. You just gotta have confidence in it. When I got the looks I got in the second half, I just pulled them, and they went in.”

Stanford (12-12, 7-7) is headed in the opposite direction. The Cardinal have lost three of their past four, the latest a 85-65 setback Thursday at Washington.

Maxime Raynaud had 19 points and 16 rebounds for the Cardinal, and Brandon Angel also scored 19.

“He’s getting better,” Stanford coach Jerod Haase said last week of Reynaud, a 7-foot-1 junior from France. “He’s in there working before and after practice. I really feel like he’s fallen in love with the process of getting better right now.”

This will be the second meeting of the season between the Cougars and Cardinal. WSU won 89-75 on Jan. 18 at Stanford as Rice scored a career-high 35 points.

– Field Level Media

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