It went in, like most of the Cardinal’s field-goal attempts against the Washington Huskies, a deflating bucket that spurred Stanford’s 79-67 victory over UW before a crowd of 4,503 at Maples Pavilion.
Randle’s prayer of a 3-pointer was not the difference in the game. It simply illustrated how little the Huskies could do to stop him. The junior led all scorers with 33 points on 11-for-15 shooting, slashing to the rim and knocking down jumpers en route to a victory that dropped the Huskies to 3-3 in conference play.
“Second half, we didn’t do a very good job of keeping him out of the lane,” said UW coach Lorenzo Romar. “He spun on us, he got in the lane. We didn’t do a very good job of it. He’s a heck of a player when he gets going. He’s tough to deal with. He did a good job scoring.”
It was not a pleasant trip to the Bay Area for the Huskies, who began this two-game road swing by losing, 82-56, on Wednesday at California. Saturday’s affair wasn’t nearly as lopsided, though the Huskies again failed on the defensive end – their 5-for-20 clip from 3-point range didn’t help, either – and allowed Stanford to shoot 54.2 percent from the field.
To that end, Randle was nearly unguardable. He scored 14 points in the first half and 19 in the second, made 10 of his 13 free-throw attempts, and his only 3-pointer was the deep, unlikely bucket he sank as the shot clock expired with 13:28 to play.
“We played really good defense for 34 seconds,” said UW point guard Nigel Williams-Goss of that possession. “The guy steps through and hits a big shot. I’ve got to give credit to him. Plays like that, we felt like we did our job and some things didn’t go our way.”
That shot gave Stanford a 52-43 lead. Washington, after trailing by five at halftime, didn’t come closer than seven points the rest of the game. That deficit was achieved with 4:30 remaining, but Stanford ripped off a quick 7-0 run that provided necessary separation.
Williams-Goss led the Huskies in scoring, as he hit a trio of 3-pointers in the final four minutes to finish with 17 points, along with seven rebounds and six assists. Junior forward Shawn Kemp Jr. scored a season-high 13 points while grabbing six rebounds and only committing two fouls, by far his best game of the season.
“I was glad I could contribute as much as I could to the team tonight, even though we lost,” said Kemp, who says he has regained his strength and endurance after he was sidelined for much of preseason practice due to complications from a thyroid condition called Graves Disease. “There’s things I’ve still got to do to get better. … When we have practice when we get back, there’s things we have to work on for the next game, because the next team we play (Oregon), it’s not going to get any easier.”
Kemp’s uptick in production was welcome. But UW’s usual leading scorers were stymied, including senior guard C.J. Wilcox, who made just 4 of his 13 field-goal attempts – he was 1-for-6 from 3-point range – and scored a season-low nine points.
Stanford’s size proved bothersome. Or, at least, 6-foot-10 forward Dwight Powell did. He lived at the free-throw line in the first half, attempting 11 freebies in that span – he made eight – while scoring 12 first-half points. Powell finished with 17 points, 11 of them coming at the free-throw line.
Stanford finished with 24 made free-throws on 34 attempts. Washington attempted just nine.
“We didn’t totally stink it up,” Romar said. “The Cal game, we did. But we came back, we played better tonight. Not good enough to get the win. I don’t know how much we take from it. We’ve just got to regroup and get back home.”
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