The Stanford Cardinal, after winning eight games but various margins, but having lapses in each contest, put together their best game of the year, completely dominating the listless Texas Tech Red Raiders at Maples Pavilion by a final score of 111-66.
In a game that appeared on paper to be a matchup promising a track meet between two high scoring teams, only Stanford appeared to get of the blocks while Texas Tech was glued to theirs. Just 95 seconds into the game, Stanford was up 10-2 and Red Raiders head coach Pat Knight had to take a timeout to try and rally the troops. Unfortunately, Texas Tech tried several different defenses to stop the hot Cardinal offense and nothing seemed to work. By the time the second media timeout of the first half had come around, Stanford was up 20, 29-9, and the damage was done. Remarkably, Texas Tech would not get closer than 18 the rest of the way while Stanford continued to extended or maintain their lead through the next 31 minutes of play.
At the half, Stanford was up 59-34, eclipsing their season high for points by the break and nearly toppling their season high from the 2007-08 season when they put up 63 in their home opener versus Harvard. Statistically, the Cardinal shot 51% from the field and 81% from the line, while the Red Raiders made 45% from the field and 78% from the line. The bigger differences were found in other statistics where the Cardinal ran away from their foes from Lubbock, Texas. Stanford outrebounded Texas Tech 24-13, including 8-1 on the offensive glass, had just four turnovers, to Tech's 11, and scored an amazing 18 points off those Red Raiders turnovers, compared to zero for Texas Tech off Stanford miscues.
The second half saw the Cardinal maintain a lead of between 23 and 30 points for the first 10:07, before Stanford ran off 17 consecutive points with a variety of shots inside the pain and on the free throw line over a 4:01 span to take a 105-59 lead with less than six minutes to go. After the run, those of us on press row scrambled to find records in each team's respective press guides to see what marks would be toppled when all was said and done. Fortunately for Texas Tech, no overall records were destroyed as Stanford took the foot off the gas and cruised to the 111-66 final margin.
However, there were some notables when all was said and done. This was the third most points given up by Texas Tech in a loss, the most since a 1991 loss to Arkansas. This was also the second worst loss in Texas Tech history in terms of margin. Remarkably, the top three worst losses have all come under Pat Knight's leadership, including a 58-point loss at Kansas and a 44-point blowout at Texas A&M. On the Cardinal's end, the 111 points was the eighth most points put up by Stanford, equaling the mark they scored versus Harvard last season and versus USC in 2000.
As a team, Stanford shot 56% from the field (including an amazing 61% in the second half), was 7-14 from the three-point line, and made 20 of 27 free throws. Texas Tech finished at 42% from the field, 2-11 from the beyond the arc, and was 10-15 from the charity stripe. Stanford outrebounded Texas Tech 48-28, including 15-7 on the offensive glass. Stanford had just nine turnovers in the game, compared to Tech's 20. The most impressive stat of the night was points off turnovers as Stanford found a way to convert those 20 turnovers into 35 points, compared to the Red Raiders turning Stanford's nine turnovers into just two points.
Individually, four players scored in double figures for Stanford, led by Anthony Goods' 21 points. Landry Fields had 19, Lawrence Hill scored 17, and Josh Owens had 12. Fields and Hill had arguably the most impressive lines of the night as Landry went 6-7 from the field and 5-8 from the charity stripe (two of his misses came in a row, but he made up for them when he converted on a jumper in the lane after some game action), grabbed eight rebounds, dished out four assists, stole two balls, and had a blocked shot. Hill had his 17 points on 7-12 shooting from the field, 3-6 from the line, seven rebounds, five assists, four steals, a block, and no turnovers. Mitch Johnson only scored eight points, but he did lead the team with seven of the Cardinal's 23 assists, had four steals, and just one turnover. In fact, 12 of the 14 players who saw the floor scored for Stanford, and not one player was in the game for more than 26 minutes for the Cardinal, something that will be very important as the next seven days see Stanford play three more games.
Stanford takes to the floor again on Tuesday versus the Hartford Hawks at
7:30pm before welcoming their first conference foes of the season as Arizona State and Arizona come to Maples on Friday and Sunday, respectively.
Welcoming, though, may not be the right word if Stanford can put together more
games like they did on Sunday versus Texas Tech. If they do, it'll be a
long year for teams playing the Cardinal both inside and outside of Maples
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