Stanford Sinks Huskies in See-Saw Affair

Once again, Stanford saves its best for the game's most crucial moments en route to another crucial win.

Down by five with two minutes left in regulation, Stanford was caught between pit and pendulum. Instead of sinking to a loss, the Card rode the pendulum to a 68-60 overtime win over Washington.

Stanford (10-3, 2-0 Pac-12) overcame cold stretches and missed free throws to knock off a ranked opponent at Maples Pavilion. For Washington (11-3, 0-2 Pac-12; #21 AP), it was a lost weekend that will see the Huskies fall out of the polls.

Stanford was down 56-54 with 13.4 seconds left in regulation, but a missed free throw by Nigel Williams-Goss kept the door open for the Cardinal. Chasson Randle took advantage, driving down the lane and scooping in the tying points with 2.2 seconds to go. A desperation heave from Andrew Andrews near mid-court glanced off the rim at the buzzer, setting the stage for overtime.

“He’s always wanted to be in those moments, and he was in another one tonight,” Cardinal head coach Johnny Dawkins said of Randle’s play. “He just finds a way to finish around the basket. I think he’s one of the best finishers in college. I think he showed it again tonight against one of the best shot blockers in the country.”

Asked to describe his play at the end of regulation, Randle said, “Stefan came up and set the screen. I just tried to get as much room as possible away from Upshaw. He was lingering around, and I was able to get to his body and finish.”

In the extra period, a big three-pointer by Rosco Allen gave Stanford a 63-58 lead with 2:40 to go. Missed free throws and two turnovers doomed the Huskies from there, and the Cardinal came away with the hard-fought win.

Randle led all scorers with 24 points, while Anthony Brown added 16 points. Stefan Nastic added a double-double, scoring 10 points and grabbing 11 boards.

Both teams played hot potato with the momentum all night. Washington hopped out to a 14-4 lead just 4:27 into the game, and led 25-15 with 9:53 left in the first half. Then the Huskies spent the rest of the half clanging shots, and Stanford took advantage. Chasson Randle’s flying baseline flush over Gilles Dierickx put the Card to within two points. Then, Rosco Allen hit an open three-pointer with eight seconds left, and the teams were tied at the half, 28-28.

Stanford appeared to be in good shape early in the second half, owners of a 37-30 lead. But the Huskies roared back with a 9-0 run, setting the stage for a see-saw affair the rest of the way. A teardop bucket by Nigel Williams-Goss gave Washington a 50-49 lead with 3:26 left. The Huskies led by four points with 15 seconds left, but two free throws by Brown kept the Cardinal in it.

Brown hit several big free throws late to help seal the deal, but Stanford was not at its best from the stripe. They missed 12 free throws, including an 0-for-6 night from Rosco Allen.

Meanwhile, the Huskies went ice cold during the middle of the game, slogging through a 13:37 stretch in which they failed to hit a field goal. But overall, turnovers were Washington’s Achilles heel. The Huskies were sloppy throughout, committing 19 turnovers. Several of those were unforced, but another tenacious effort for Stanford defensively helped cause many others.

This was no surprise to Nastic. “Defense first,” he said afterwards. “Defense is going to win the game at all times. That’s what we said even when they went on their run. In the overtime we had some great stops, and that’s what is necessary to win.”

“When shots are going, everything is great," Nastic continued. "When shots aren’t, we want to be a team that does other things to stay in it. I’m just proud of our guys for our effort tonight.”

Randle’s play at the end of regulation helped put the Cardinal in the win column, but he also put his name in the Stanford record books. Midway through the second half, he launched a contested three-pointer that splashed down for a 43-43 tie. Randle--who later admitted that he played Sunday while suffering from a cold--now stands alone atop Stanford’s all-time list of made three-pointers, surpassing Dion Cross.

“It’s an honor,” Randle said afterwards. “I know a lot of great players came here before me. Just to be able to accomplish something like that is an honor.”

This week, Stanford hits the road for the television-friendly Thursday-Sunday dip in Los Angeles. The floundering UCLA Bruins are first, and they’ll be looking to redeem themselves after a 71-39 wipeout loss at Utah on Sunday.

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