PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Stanford’s defense gave Washington State trouble from start to finish.
DiJonai Carrington had 19 points, eight rebounds and five assists to help No. 7 Stanford beat Washington State 67-42 on Friday night for its fifth straight victory.
Carrington scored 15 of her 19 points in the second half, doing it all for the Cardinal by rebounding and playing facilitator.
“We did a good job from the free throw line, we turned it over a bit too much but I thought our defense really won the game for us,” Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said.
Alanna Smith added 18 points and 11 rebounds for Stanford (24-4, 14-3 Pac-12), and Kiana Williams had 11 points.
Ula Motuga scored 10 points for Washington State (9-19, 4-13). The Cougars’ two leading scorers, Borislava Hristova and Chanelle Molina, combined for 12 points.
WSU coach Kamie Ethridge said the team is asking too much from Molina.
“We walk into halftime and she is 1-10, that’s generally a bad sign for us because we don’t really have a lot of offense from others,” Ethridge said. “It is a lot to ask a kid every single night against the best competition in the country to be your best ball-handler and pretty much your best defender and score the basketball at a high clip.”
Stanford closed the first quarter with a 20-5 run to take a 23-12 lead. Smith started the run with two layups, and Carrington and Lacie Hull capped it with two layups each. Stanford led 34-19 at the half.
Stanford closed with third quarter with a 7-0 run, with Williams hitting a 3-pointer, and outscored the Cougars 21-13 in the period.
The Cardinal sat their starts for most of the fourth quarter.
Nearing the end of the season, VanDerveer said the Cardinal are getting better and they haven’t played their best basketball yet.
“We need to keep improving, we need to stay healthy, number one, but we need to keep improving,” VanDerveer said. “I think we have a really great group, they work very hard and they play really hard for each other.”
Stanford: The Cardinals are competing with Oregon for the No. 1 seed in the Pac-12 Tournament.
Washington State: The Cougars have lost three in a row.
Stanford: At Washington on Sunday in regular-season finale.
Washington State: Hosts California on Sunday in regular-season finale.
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