The Johnny Dawkins era at home began the same as it did on the road last Friday night, with a win that wasn't particularly great aesthetically, but definitely good looking on the scoreboard. All of Stanford's starters were in double figures as the Cardinal defeated the Cal State Northridge Matadors on Tuesday night by a final score of 103-85.
Stanford was led by Anthony Goods who had 25 points on 6-13 shooting from the field and 11-12 from the free throw line. Landry Fields had 18 on 5-7 shooting, while Josh Owens, Lawrence Hill, and Mitch Johnson each contributed 14 points. The Matadors were led by senior guard Josh Jenkins who had 24 points on a near perfect 10-12 from the field, but he only played 28 minutes due to foul trouble, a common theme this evening for Northridge. Willie Gallick, a transfer out of Pepperdine by way of Cedar Community School, had 12 points (6-6 from the field), but he too was a main target of the refs, fouling out of the game having played just 14 minutes.
What started out as a tight game turned into a game of runs that started and ended with the Cardinal running away from Northridge. With the Matadors up 18-15 early in the first half, Stanford went on a 10-0 run over the next 1:19 to go up seven with just over 11 minutes remaining. From there, the Cardinal extended their lead over the next seven minutes to 18, leading 43-25 and seemingly in control of the contest. However, Northridge would chop the lead considerably, getting to within 49-42, before Stanford ended the half with a three-point play from Johnson and a double-digit lead once again at 52-42.
The Matadors, though, were not to be denied, chopping away at the lead and eventually tying it up at 56 with 15:50 left in the game. Over the next 5:40, Stanford could not pull away by more than five points and saw itself tied one more time at 70 with the opposition. After that, the game would shift back to Stanford as they used runs of 11-2 and 20-4, suffocating the Matadors and scoring on just about every opportunity down the floor, putting away the Big West Conference challenger.
In this roller-coaster affair, the Matadors committed 34 fouls to just 16 for Stanford, leading to a huge disparity at the free throw line as Stanford was 40-47 from the charity stripe, while Northridge was just 9-12. While this may look like a totally lopsided ledger, a reason for the huge free throw margin was that while the Matadors were settling for jumpers, the Cardinal were going inside on a regular basis and making sure they drew contact. Throw in the fact that the referees were calling just about every hand check and other small contact on the floor, the Cardinal were able to benefit and deliver at the line. However, Northridge also did a tremendous job shooting both inside and outside the arc, shooting a blazing 62.5% from the field by making a bevy of running lay-ups off some nice give-and-go plays and exploiting a few favorable one-on-one matchups in the open court, something the Cardinal will need to shore up before their next outing. Northridge also managed to hit 6-16 from outside the three-point line. In comparison, Stanford shot just 48.3% from the field, but hitting 31 more free throws proved to be too much for the Big West pre-season favorites.
Two other key stats that went Stanford's way tonight were the rebounding and turnover battles. Unlike versus Yale, where the Cardinal were outrebounded 44-33, Stanford was able to grab 32 boards (including 17 on the offensive end), compared to just 24 for the Matadors. Northridge's "Dennis Rodman," Tony Osunsanmi was held to just two in his limited time off the bench. The Cardinal were also able to force 25 turnovers, including nine steals (compared to 17 and five, respectively, for Northridge versus Stanford), leading to chances for many scores on the offensive end.
With the win, Stanford goes to 2-0 on the young season and gets an eight-day break before it takes again to the home hardwood in a non-televised game versus Air Force on Wednesday, November 26th at 7:30pm.Stanford/Northridge Box Score
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