STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Nadia Fingall, out for nearly a year with a torn ACL, started feeling her shot coming around in the past three weeks. These days, the shots are falling.
Fingall had a season-high 20 points and six rebounds and No. 5 Stanford beat Washington State for the 66th consecutive time, 77-58 on Friday night.
“Coming back, it was hard to find my rhythm, but I continued to work on it,” Fingall said. “I had a couple of shots go in against Tennessee and things started feeling better as far as my body goes and it’s gone from there.”
Kiana Williams added 12 points for the Cardinal (12-1, 1-0 Pac-12), who have won two straight since their only loss of the season, at Texas on Dec. 22. Haley Jones had 10 points and seven rebounds.
“That was a great game from Nadia,” Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. “She is embracing her senior year, being a leader and getting healthy. She’s playing her best basketball.”
Chanelle Molina scored a season-high 27 points for the Cougars (7-7, 0-2), who lost their third straight and fell to 0-66 all-time against the Cardinal.
Borislava Hristova scored 21 points, all in the first three quarters. She is eight points away from becoming Washington State’s all-time leading scorer.
“You always need people who can create their own shot and we have two of those,” Cougars’ coach Kamie Ethridge said. “Stanford can switch so well on defense it makes it hard for anybody but those two. We’re just not built right to take on a team like Stanford. It was an unbelievable effort though.”
Molina and Hristova were the only Washington State players to make field goals until Johanna Muzet hit a layup off a Stanford turnover with 3:05 left in the third quarter. Molina and Hristova were a combined 13 of 22 at the time, while the rest of the team was 0 for 14.
“We can play better defensively, but it won’t be easy,” VanDerveer said.
Molina and Hristova made 19 of the team’s 22 field goals. The Cougars shot 42.3% from the field, the best against Stanford this season.
Cardinal Alyssa Jerome added 10 points and was one of three players with three assists.
Stanford, which never trailed, established a double-digit lead at the end of the first quarter and maintained it the rest of the way.
Anna Wilson sank a pair of free throws in the final seven seconds to give Stanford a 41-23 lead at halftime.
Lacie Hull, who stepped in for her sister Lexie, Stanford’s leading scorer, in a big way last season, could have played if necessary. Senior DiJonai Carrington missed her eighth game but is making progress. Senior Mikaela Brewer and junior Maya Dodson have yet to play.
Washington State: The smallest margin of victory in the series between the Cougars and Cardinal was the 2000 meeting at Stanford, a 78-73 decision. … Coach Kamie Ethridge is a victory short of 100 career wins. She’s currently at 99-71. … Chanelle Molina and Hristova are 1-2 in the Pac-12 in minutes played.
Stanford: Senior Kiana Williams has 179 3-pointers, 12 shy of Jennifer Azzi for 10th all-time. … Freshman Hannah Jump ranks second in the Pac-12 and 26th nationally in 3-point field goal percentage (.462). … Fingall set a career-high for 3-pointers with three in the first half. She’s reached double figures in scoring a season-high three straight games.
Washington State: Plays at California on Sunday.
Stanford: Hosts Washington on Sunday.
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