It was a long time coming, but Stanford finally had a game in which it could actually breath a little bit. Not since the Washington homestand did the Card actually have a game in which the victory was in hand down the stretch. All the same, the score was not very indicative of this game. Oregon State was only down 35-30 at halftime, and the score at one point in the second half was only 49-46. Stanford righted itself though for the final ten minutes and opened it up en route to a 77-55 victory over the Beavers from Corvallis. It was a very sloppy game even though there were few turnovers, as the Beavers never really got anything going and Stanford struggled for the first 30 minutes. Once again the Beavers played a scrappy game with physical defense and a ball control offense. They often waited until the shot clock was under ten seconds before trying to initiate the offense. The game was also plagued (again) by Pac-10 officiating, with numerous questionable calls. Teyo got called for some awful touch fouls, and Justin Davis had two free throws yanked away in an overturned call. It wasn't quite as bad as the Stanford-Oregon game Thursday night, but sometimes I just wonder what is going on in the officials' heads. It isn't my style to complain about the refs, but I'll say it after a win so as to not sound like sour grapes. Overall it looked like Stanford was a little tired from the thrilling game two nights before; nevertheless, a 20-point victory is something that anyone can be happy with at this point.
Not many too many standout offensive performances in this defensive struggle, but there were a few. Curtis was his usual dominant self, as he scored 20 points and pulled down 12 rebounds. He was aggressive on the defensive end once again with four more blocked shots and many more altered. He is continuing to be a force not only on the offensive end but also the defensive side. He has already broken the Stanford record for blocks in a season and still has six games left, plus the Pac-10 and March Madness tournaments. He also limited Oregon State to one offensive rebound the entire game! If I recall correctly, he wasn't even on the court when "Harry" Potter grabbed the offensive board. (Steve D: tell me if I am wrong!) Jacobsen was limited to 13 points on 4-12 shooting and really had an off game. It was due to happen, though, after playing 40 minutes against Arizona State, 45 against Arizona and 43 against Oregon. He must have been tired and it was good that he wasn't needed for another 40-point night. The breakout performance of the night must go to Teyo Johnson. Twice in the second half Oregon State cut the Stanford lead to three, and twice Teyo Johnson hit three's to push the lead back to six. Things could have been a lot different this game if it weren't for Teyo. Whenever Oregon State got excited and felt they had a chance, Teyo was there to knock down the trey. He finished with 15 points and five rebounds, four of them coming on the offensive glass. Also had three assists and went 5-6 from the line. With the revolving door at power forward, he has probably earned himself the start for Stanford next game. Speaking of that revolving door, Joe Kirchofer made his first Stanford start, but only played a total of ten minutes. He scored five points but was really not a factor in the game as he played very little in the second half. Nothing else really stood out except that Justin Davis tonight played a total of four minutes. It really looks like he has ended up in Montgomery's doghouse, as he played the last two minutes of each half. After starting for awhile it looks like he has fallen out of the normal rotation. Lets hope he can turn things around because when he is going well, he really provides great energy.
Oregon State had a miserable game offensively with no one really standing out. J.S. Nash led the Beavers with 12 points, and Philip Ricci, Oregon State's main player, was held to ten points in 15 foul-plagued minutes. Jimmie Haywood was also able to score ten points off the bench for Oregon State. Joe See, Oregon State's 6-1 point guard was the leading rebounder, grabbing seven rebounds. As mentioned before, Oregon State only grabbed one offensive rebound and 18 all together. They were also put into bad situations as Ricci and Brian Jackson fouled out and many others had foul trouble. Brian Jackson already was hurt before the game and had to come out in the second half after taking a Curtis Borchardt elbow to the eye. The Beavers really make their mark on the defensive end, as they are the 2nd best team in the Pac-10 in scoring defense. Even though the stats don't show it, Stanford did have trouble scoring and had a tough time with Oregon State's physical play for awhile.
Overall, a very productive weekend for the Cardinal with the two victories. With all the other action around the Pac-10, teams two through five each have four losses. It will probably be the closest race in a long time for the conference. Arizona only has three losses but has to go to play UCLA and USC in LA and we all know how tough that roadtrip is too sweep. Stanford now has a weekend against the Washington's and should have a chance to come back to Maples next weekend atop the conference to play the LA schools. Oh yeah, after UCLA's game in Villanova; the "Lavin Watch" might be on again!