STANFORD, Calif. — Go ahead. Pick a problem. Washington had several Thursday in a 94-78 loss to Stanford at Maples Pavilion.
The Huskies (18-10, 8-7 Pac-12) struggled to find a consistent shot. It started in the first half when they shot 28 percent from the floor and didn’t connect on any of their eight attempts from the 3-point line. Twenty of UW’s 26 points came from inside the paint.
UW found a little momentum in the second half. They shot 47.5 percent from the floor and worked to diminish the Cardinal lead. Freshman shooting guard Jaylen Nowell hit a 3-pointer that cut the lead to 62-49 with 11:02 remaining. Washington got within 11 points with less than four minutes to go. The comeback attempt fell well short with the Huskies running out of energy and players. Juniors Noah Dickerson and Matisse Thybulle, along with Nowell, all fouled out.
Nowell led the Huskies with 18 points while Nahziah Carter, who picked up four fouls, scored a career-high 17.
“We started off slow and they came out and hit us,” said Dickerson, who scored 14 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. “Fighting back from that many down is possible, but it’s hard to do.”
Reid Travis didn’t make things any easier. Stanford’s star junior forward put up 16 points in a 73-64 win on Jan. 13 over UW in Seattle.
This time, he had the best game of his collegiate career.
He picked the Huskies apart by scoring a career-best 33 points and added nine rebounds while shooting 11-for-17 from the field. UW got a sign of things to come when Travis scored three straight buckets in the paint that paced the Cardinal to a 16-4 lead early in the first half. He did it again in the second half when he finished with six points in the final two minutes.
Travis’ most dominant play came late in the opening frame. He fought off a double team and muscled in a one-armed shot attempt from about seven feet. The basket gave Stanford a 48-26 halftime edge.
Stanford guard Dorian Pickens chipped in 20 points, six rebounds and four assists. Forward Michael Humphrey also had 15 points. Seattle native and former UW signee Daejon Davis didn’t record a shot attempt but scored four points to go with nine assists and five rebounds over 37 minutes.
The Cardinal, after shooting 60 percent in the first half, shot 52.6 percent for the evening. They also connected on 41.2 percent of their 3-pointers.
“They did a really good job of getting (Travis) the ball in the first half,” Huskies coach Mike Hopkins said. “They attacked us where we wanted to attack them and they were just more aggressive. Travis got there, he went right at us and we couldn’t stop them. They were also blocking our shot.”
Stanford collected nine blocks and seven steals and scored 20 points off turnovers. Hopkins further lamented how the Cardinal could have done even more damage at the free-throw line.
The Cardinal entered shooting 68.8 percent from the line. Against the Huskies, they amassed 47 attempts but only converted 57.4 percent of those chances.
Stanford’s first-half effort was the most points UW has allowed in an opening half since giving up 59 in a 103-79 loss on Nov. 17 to Virginia Tech in the 2K Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Travis’ record night was also the most points any individual player has scored against the Huskies since the game at The Garden when Hokies guard Justin Bibbs put up 30.
This was also the fourth time UW has allowed more than 90 points this season.
“We just needed some disruption in the high post or in the zone. Travis was getting it and he was just going,” Hopkins said. “He puts his head down and goes … it’s a tough play.”
UW has now dropped four of its last five games since it went on a four-game winning streak.
“We cut it to 11. We were making good plays. We were driving, passing and kicking,” Dickerson said. “Then, they caught our run.”