The Stanford Cardinal, coming off a demoralizing 74-55 loss in Berkeley on Saturday, were looking to create some Pac-10 Conference tournament magic, starting with their opening round matchup with the Oregon State Beavers. Despite a dreadful first half shooting the ball that made their effort versus California look spectacular in comparison, the Cardinal made a couple of furious rallies, but ultimately were outlasted by Oregon State, losing 69-67 at Staples Center on Wednesday night. Stanford drops to 15-16 on the season, while the Beavers move to 11-19 and next take on Arizona in the quarterfinals Thursday afternoon.
Stanford was led by Jeremy Green's 25 points, 20 in the second half, making 7-18 from the field. Anthony Brown and Dwight Powell both scored 11 for the Cardinal. Oregon State, which tallied an incredible 58 of their 69 points off the bench, was led Jared Cunningham's 24 points on 4-11 shooting from the field and 15-20 makes from the free throw line. Devon Collier netted 19 and Ahmed Starks scored 15.
Coming out of the last media timeout, Brown hit a free throw to make it a 57-53 game with 2:37 left. After Cunningham swished home two freebies, Green dribbled himself a little space and sent home another long ball, cutting the OSU lead in half with 1:56 remaining. After a Stanford timeout, Oregon State air-balled a three-pointer and Powell missed a point blank layup and committed a foul going after the rebound. Cunningham, though, made just one of his two free throws, giving Stanford a glimmer of hope. Jarrett Mann was fouled on the ensuing possession, but he also split his free throws, leaving the Cardinal behind three with 38.4 seconds left.
Cunningham was fouled again and this time made both free throws, but Green made a difficult three-pointer after grabbing his own long rebound to cut the lead down to two, 62-60, with 25.8 to go. Oregon State broke the press easily and got a Collier dunk, but Mann drained the longest two of all-time to make it a two-point game. Cunningham made another two free throws, but Green scored from long distance with 13 seconds left to cut the deficit to one. Cunningham was fouled again, but he missed one of two, and Mann was fouled getting the offensive rebound. Mann, though missed both free throws, but Oregon State couldn't seal the deal as Cunningham again made just one of two from the line. Green was fouled after the inbounds pass and made both free throws with seven seconds remaining to make it a one-point game. Cunningham was fouled again, but once more couldn't finish off Stanford, making the second of two. Green brought the ball up, but was double-teamed at half-court and Cunningham swatted away his final chance to bring Stanford all the way back.
Stanford shot 33% for the game, 12% in the first half and 59% in the second half. They made 33% of their three-point attempts and hit on 68% of their free throws. Oregon State shot 36% for the contest, including 33% from deep and 71% at the charity stripe.
With Oregon State up eight midway through the second 20 minutes of play, Stanford cut the lead to 47-43 after the second of consecutive buckets by Powell before the under-8:00 media break. After a Collier free throw, Green nailed a left wing three-pointer to bring Stanford within two, the closest they had been since a tie earlier in the half. A fast break layup by Cunningham after a Mann turnover gave the Beavers a five-point lead and Cunningham hurt them again after he gobbled up an offensive rebound after a lengthy defensive possession and got the hoop to keep OSU up by that margin.
The Beavers outrebounded Stanford 42-41, but lost of the offensive rebounding battle 18-16. Unfortunately, Stanford only converted those rebounds into nine second chance points, while OSU scored 15. The Cardinal tallied 11 assists and 10 rebounds, while Oregon State passed around 10 assists and committed 11 miscues for the evening.
After making just four of their 33 field goals in the first half, Powell and Brown made the team's first two attempts of the half, sparking an early Cardinal rally, cutting the lead to three just 1:10 into the second half. Back-to-back long balls from Brown and Green edged the Beavers advantage to one, 32-31, before the first TV timeout, further putting the first half of futility behind the #8 seed. After two Cunningham free throws, Green canned a right corner three-pointer to knot the score up at 34. Oregon State soon righted the ship, though, and used a 9-2 streak to go back up 43-36 with 12:30 to go.
Despite shooting just 14% going into the second media timeout, Stanford held a slim 10-9 lead with the help of seven offensive rebounds. However, Starks continued his hot ways of late, hitting back-to-back three-pointers to give the Beavers a 17-10 lead with just over nine minutes to go in the first half. The run by OSU caused head coach Johnny Dawkins to take a timeout, but that did little to help his squad's shooting woes, as the Cardinal started the game 3-for-30 and behind 22-12 with 3:50 to go in the half. Free throws by John Gage and a lefty hook off the glass for Jack Trotter cut into the lead, but Stanford could get no closer, going into the half down by eight, 26-18.
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