Davis Lifts Stanford Past Cougars

AP Sports Writer

STANFORD, Calif. - Justin Davis made his first start since tearing aknee ligament in early January and scored 21 points as No. 24 Stanford beatWashington State 72-54 Saturday.

Josh Childress added 15 points for the Cardinal (19-6, 10-3 Pac-10), whotrailed for much of the first half despite holding the Cougars (5-17, 0-13)without a basket for the opening 6 1/2 minutes of the game.

It was the 13th straight loss for Washington State, which has lost all 10 ofits road games this season and 19 straight conference games. The Cougars havelost 14 straight to Stanford.

Jerry McNair had 14 of his 21 points in the first half for Washington State.

Stanford has excelled this season against top teams - the Cardinal have fourwins over ranked teams, including a road victory at No. 1 Arizona last month -but often has struggled against lesser opponents.

Among the Cardinal's losses this season are home defeats to Montana andRichmond.

Leading by eight points at halftime, Stanford scored the opening 13 pointsof the second half - holding the Cougars scoreless for 5:48 - to open a 48-27lead. Washington State never got closer than 16 points the rest of the game.

Stanford's biggest lead was 22 points.

Davis, who tore a ligament in his left knee during the second half of a gameat California on Jan. 4, came within three points of his career high. Hisscoring included a pair of big dunks, including one off a rebound during theCardinal's big run to start the second half.

But Julius Barnes, who averaged 31 points in his previous two games, washeld to eight points on 2-of-12 shooting for Stanford.

Thomas Kelati had 13 points for the Cougars, including three 3-pointers.

The Cougars did not hit a shot until Kelati's 3-pointer with 13:29 left inthe first half. They missed their first six shots and had five turnovers in theopening 6:31.

But Stanford appeared lulled by Washington State's deliberate offense,struggling from the field and failing to take advantage of the Cougars' earlysloppiness.

Washington State led by as many as four points midway through the first halfand trailed by just two points with three minutes before halftime. But theCardinal finished the half with an 8-2 run to take a 35-27 halftime lead.

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