Admittedly, Corvallis is not the most inspiring place to play a basketball game. Coming to town to play the Beavers is about as exciting as watching ice melt on a hot summer day. Gill Coliseum does not instill fear in visiting teams, nor does it provide the Beavers with any psychological edge over their opponents. In fact, as a visiting team it is incredibly difficult to motivate yourself to play a basketball game at Gill. Which, interestingly, might be a strange sort of home court advantage for Oregon State after all.
For the second year in a row Stanford played sloppy basketball for the first thirty minutes before pulling away in the final ten minutes for the 67-50 victory. The Cardinal buried the Beavers with a scoring run that began late in the second half when Beavers 69 forward Brian Jackson left the game after picking up his fourth foul. Jacksons absence was decimating to the Beavs both offensively and defensively, as he is the only legitimate scoring threat on the squad and its tallest, most capable defender.
Freshman Josh Childress led the Cardinal in scoring with 19 points, and was really the only offensive threat Stanford showed for the majority of the game. Shooting 8-15 from the field, Childress gave the Beavs fits the entire night, scoring both inside and outside. Childress is rapidly developing into the consistent third scoring option Stanford desperately needs, which should free up Jacobsen for a few more open looks. Childress also added 9 rebounds.
Casey Jacobsens offensive struggles continued, as he wasnt able to get anything going until late in the game, and finished only 5 of 12 shooting from the floor. Jacobsen sat out most of the first half after drawing his third foul of the game early. However, when the Cardinal needed him most Jacobsen stepped up in the second half to hit a big three and slam home two fast break dunks with about eight minutes to play that allowed Stanford to pull away for the victory. Jacobsen finished with 15 points.
Curtis Borchardt scored a quiet 17 points and dominated the shorter Beavers on the boards. Borchardt pulled down 18 rebounds, and was a huge contributor to Stanfords 40-24 rebounding edge in the game. The advantage was 13-2 on the offensive boards, which allowed Borchardt and the rest of the Card to get second and third opportunities on many of their trips down the floor.
Stanford led by three at the half, and briefly relinquished the lead with about 12 minutes to play in the game. Phillip Ricci led the Beavers in scoring with 14 points, but shot only 4-11 from the field. Ricci was constantly overmatched by Borchardt, who had a 5-inch height advantage on the junior.
Next up for Stanford are the Ducks in Eugene. They will face a better team, tougher crowd, and more hostile venue than they faced in Corvallis. Stanford needs to show up ready to play in the first half, because a lackluster performance like they gave last night will put them down big by half time against U of O. If Jacobsen can build on his strong finish last night, and Childress and Borchardt continue to improve and produce, Stanford will hold the Ducks in check, and hand them their second conference loss.