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Cardinal pull away from Wazzu
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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Stanford shot its way into the Pac-12 tournament quarterfinals, adding another notch to its NCAA tournament resume.

Stanford got off to a fast start and pulled away with a big second-half run, knocking off Washington State 74-63 Wednesday night in the Pac-12 tournament’s first round.

Chasson Randle scored 22 points, Josh Powell added 16 and the sixth-seeded Cardinal shot 58 percent to hold off the pesky Cougars.

“A big win for us,” Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. “Washington State came ready to play, ready to compete and they gave us everything. I’m really proud of our guys for stepping up.”

The Cardinal needed to step up with what was on the line.

On the NCAA tournament bubble, Stanford (20-11) couldn’t afford a loss to the 11th-seeded Cougars and made sure it didn’t happen, using a 16-4 run in the second half to take control of what had been a tight game.

Anthony Brown and Josh Huestis scored 12 points each for the Cardinal, who face third-seeded Arizona State (21-10) in Thursday’s quarterfinals with a chance to enhance their NCAA credentials.

“I haven’t really thought about that (NCAA bid),” Randle said. “As a team, we’re just focused on each day and playing Arizona State tomorrow night.”

Washington State (10-21) shot well to start both halves, but couldn’t sustain it to end a difficult season with another loss.

Mississippi State tops Vandy 82-68 in SEC tourney

ATLANTA (AP) — Craig Sword scored 20 points and Mississippi State ended a 13-game losing streak by beating Vanderbilt 82-68 on Wednesday night in the first round of the Southeastern Conference tournament.

Roquez Johnson had 18 points and Fred Thomas had 16 for Mississippi State (14-18). The 14th-seeded Bulldogs took their first win since beating Auburn on Jan. 22.

Mississippi State plays No. 6 seed Mississippi (18-13) Thursday. It will be only the second time the Bulldogs have played Ole Miss in the SEC tournament, following a 73-64 win over the Rebels in the 2003 tournament.

Damian Jones had 16 points and Rod Odom and Dai-Jon Parker had 15 for Vanderbilt (15-16), the No. 11 seed, which closed its season with five straight losses.

Mississippi State’s 13-game losing streak was the longest to close a regular season in school history. The three losses this month, to Missouri, Georgia and South Carolina, were all by double-digit margins.

Mississippi State led 36-31 at halftime and then opened the second half with 10 straight points, stretching the lead to 15 points. Johnson had three baskets in the run.

Ducks beat Beavers 88-74
in Pac-12 tournament

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Joseph Young scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half and Oregon pulled away for an 88-74 victory over Oregon State in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament on Wednesday.

The 342nd meeting between the Civil War rivals was their first in the Pac-12 tournament and carried plenty of implications for Oregon’s NCAA tournament chances.

The defending tournament champion Ducks (23-8) came through after a shaky start, relying on their depth and superb second-half shooting to earn a spot in Thursday’s quarterfinals against second-seeded UCLA.

Jason Calliste scored 17 points and Oregon hit 16 of 20 shots in the second half for its eighth straight win. The Ducks outscored Oregon State 46-6 off the bench and made 10 of 16 from 3-point range.

Angus Brandt scored 20 points and Roberto Nelson had 19 in what was likely their final game with the Beavers (16-15).