At one point in this one, there was a legitimate chance that Stanford could foul out more players than it could make three pointers. They ended up in a 3-3 stalemate on that front. A press row colleague took down more churros (5) than Stanford made three pointers. And that would be as competitive as things would be in Stanford’s 91-68 opening round loss in the Pac-12 Tournament.
Washington jumped all over Stanford at the onset, taking a 22-4 lead on a Stanford team that required two media timeouts before making its first field goal of the game. Washington Freshman Dejounte Murray blitzed Stanford with 25 points on 9-17 shooting, while the Huskies’ front line of Marquese Criss and Malik Dime went for 20 combined rebounds and four blocked shots.
Stanford was down 28 points at the half, and though they found some offense in the second half with 46 points, the outcome was long decided by then. The Cardinal, playing without Reid Travis, had no answer for Washington’s physicality inside. The Huskies ended up with a whopping 25 second chance points and a +13 margin in that category.
After the game, Coach Dawkins acknowledged that the suspension of Christian Sanders absolutely impacted the team in Stanford’s past three games, all of which saw the Cardinal face deficits that reached 20 or more points at stages of all three games. It was tough to find signs of Stanford’s fight in Tucson or in Las Vegas. Rosco Allen gamely attacked the Husky defense, but that wasn’t going to overcome a night in which he, Dorian Pickens, and an injury-slowed Marcus Sheffield combined to go 0-13 from behind the three-point line.
Asked about Stanford’s interest in participating in a postseason tournament, Coach Dawkins confirmed that Stanford would be playing in any tournament to which it is invited. All that is for certain is that it won’t be the NCAA Tournament, and at 15-15 overall their NIT status is far from guaranteed. This is the seventh and second consecutive year under Coach Dawkins that Stanford has failed to reach the NCAA Tournament.
There is no question that Stanford will want to somehow get the taste of the past two weeks out of its mouths, but there is a real question whether playing non-NCAA Tournament games will have the same palate cleansing effect on what remains of the Cardinal fan base. With the Dumpster Fire Tour now three stops in (Tempe, Tucson, Las Vegas), it’s hard to figure many outside the Stanford locker room clamoring for an encore.