C.J. Williams had 18 points and C.J. Leslie scored 14 to help the Wolfpack (5-3) build leads of 11 and 12 in each half only to see both disappear. North Carolina State has not beaten a Pac-12 opponent - formerly called the Pac-10 Conference - on the road in almost 18 years.
North Carolina State's only other appearances away from Reynolds Coliseum this season came at a neutral site in the Legends Classic at East Rutherford, N.J. against Vanderbilt and Texas. The Wolfpack split those games.
Traveling to the West Coast, they looked right at home to start each half.
And completely out of place at the end.
During one stretch after the break, Williams blocked a shot by Anthony Brown and pushed the ball up court. Scott Wood received the ball and hit a 3-pointer to highlight a 12-4 run to start the second half, giving the Wolfpack a 47-35 lead.
Everything from there for North Carolina State just evaporated.
Stanford closed the gap late just as it did in the opening half, getting a 3-pointer and two-handed dunk by Brown. Owens followed with four free throws between a North Carolina State basket to put the Cardinal ahead 65-64 with 3:08 left - Stanford's first lead of the game.
He made two more free throws until Randle followed with four more to extend the Cardinal's cushion to 71-67. After going ahead by six points in the final seconds, Stanford sweated out a late push by the Wolfpack, winning a late jump ball on a possession arrow.
Brown hit a final free throw with 5.6 seconds left to seal the final score, finishing with 12 points. Aaron Bright also scored 15 points for Stanford.
The first half followed a similar pattern.
Leslie converted a three-point play over Owens and had another dunk to highlight a 16-6 start for North Carolina State. The Cardinal took time to adjust to the fast pace and energized a Maples Pavilion crowd, at times, with some big-play bursts.
Randle's 3-pointer capped a 14-4 stretch by Stanford that evened the score at 20-all in the first half. The teams traded baskets again and Stanford's Josh Huestis evened the game at 30 with a three-point play over Leslie in the final minutes.
The Wolfpack closed strong on defense to force the Cardinal into several mistakes, getting baskets from Williams and Leslie to take a 35-31 halftime lead before another fast start in the second half.
North Carolina State's last road win over a Pac-12 team came at Oregon State on Dec. 22, 1993. The last victory overall against a Pac-12 team came against Arizona State on Jan. 29, 2000.