The Stanford Cardinal came into tonight's Pac-10 Tournament Opening Round game versus the Oregon State Beavers looking to not only advance in the tournament, but to also get a little revenge on a team that had handed them two definitive defeats during the regular season. After one of the worst first halves the team has had all season, the Cardinal opened up the second stanza with a 14-2 run and held off the Beavers to finally defeat their nemesis from Corvallis by a final score of 62-54. Stanford moved its record to 18-12 on the year, while Oregon State dropped to 13-17.
Stanford started the game out hot, getting two jumpers by Landry Fields and a three-pointer by Anthony Goods to take an early 7-4 lead. Oregon State, though, would continue to force the Cardinal to shoot from the outside, making them miss on several straight occasions, while running seven in a row themselves to take an 11-7 lead with 13:38 remaining in the first half. Lawrence Hill tied the game back up at 11 with a jumper in the lane, but OSU proceeded to get another 7-0 run, fueled by a Ricky Claitt three-pointer and four points from Calvin Haynes, to run the score to 18-11 with 8:44 to go. Another Haynes three-pointer from the left corner with 5:21 left pushed the lead back to seven, 25-18, as Stanford was having trouble shooting and handling the ball inside against the Beavers' zone. Both teams would trade points before the end of the half as OSU went into the locker room up seven, 28-21.
Individually, Stanford was led by Fields' eight points on 4-9 shooting. Goods had six points and six boards, Hill scored four, and Kenny Brown tallied three to equal all of Stanford's scoring. Mitch Johnson had three assists and zero turnovers. Oregon State's leading scorers were Lathen Wallace and Haynes with seven apiece, followed by four from Roeland Schaftenaar and three each from Daniel Deane and Claitt.
As a team, Stanford shot 38% from the floor, but made just 2-11 from three-point land. The Cardinal was also just 1-2 from the charity stripe. Oregon State made 40% of their shots, were 4-8 from beyond the arc, and a perfect 4-4 from the free throw line. Stanford outrebounded Oregon State 16-13 and had one more assist (7-6) than the Beavers. The story, though, was in the turnover department where the Cardinal managed to cough up the ball 11 times against the Beavers zone, while Oregon State turned it over seven times. The Beavers converted their chances into 12 points, while Stanford got just three.
As the second half began, Stanford needed to get off to a quick start, something that had not happened most of the second half of the conference slate. Tonight, however, Stanford used a blitzkrieg attack on the Beavers, coming at them from all angles, including two three-pointers and two free throws from Goods, along with two layups from Josh Owens and another easy one for Fields to open up the second half outscoring Oregon State 14-2 to take their biggest lead of the game, 35-30, just 3:32 into the second stanza. After a 30-second timeout by head coach Craig Robinson, Schaftenaar made a hook over Hill. A Deane layup that could have gotten the Beavers within one was called a charge as the teams headed into the media timeout.
However, the timeouts chilled the Cardinal as they missed several wide open looks, including multiple layups, and Oregon State began to run their offense effectively. A Latham Wallace three-pointer from the left corner capped another 7-0 to give OSU back the lead, 37-35, with 12:35 to go. Two Hill free throws stopped the run and Goods got a long feed from Brown off a rebound, making the layup and getting fouled in the process. Goods completed the three-point play after the media break, putting Stanford back up 40-37. Stanford would increase that lead up to as much as eight, 49-41, with 7:50 to go before Oregon State would step up their defense and watch the Cardinal miss a couple more shots, getting an 6-0 run in 38 seconds to get within two with 6:13 left in the game.
The Beavers would get within one on two occasions over the next four minutes before a critical turnover Claitt with 2:43 remaining seemed to stem the comeback attempt by Oregon State. There were a couple of missed shots on both ends, including a long three by Goods, but Anthony got another shot and launched the dagger that struck net, hitting a long ball with 1:45 remaining to give Stanford a 58-52 advantage. Schaftenaar made two free throws with 1:28 to go, Goods made one of two free throws with one minute left, then Haynes attempted a layup that missed. After a timeout with 41.6 seconds left, including over 20 ticks left on the shot clock, OSU chose to play defense instead of fouling, and paid the price when Johnson hit a short jumper with 17 seconds left, giving the Cardinal the final nail in the coffin that put away the more than pesky Beavers.
Individually, Stanford was led by Goods' 23 points and seven rebounds on 6-17 shooting, but he did make 7-9 from the free throw line. Fields was next in line with 13 points and eight boards, while Hill had 12 and seven to help lead the Cardinal to the win. Oregon State was led by Wallace's 18 points on 8-13 shooting from the floor, followed by Schaftenaar's 12 on 3 of 10 shooting from the floor.
As a team, Stanford shot 43% for the game, including 48% in the decisive second half. The Cardinal also finished the game 6-18 (33%) from beyond the arc and 10-14 from the free throw line. Oregon State shot 39% for the contest, 38% (5-13) from long range, and was 9-13 from the charity stripe. Stanford outrebounded Oregon State 35-28, including 9-6 on the offensive glass leading to a 10-5 edge in second chance points. The Cardinal had 16 assists and 14 turnovers, but turned the ball over just three times in the second half. Oregon State finished with just seven assists, just one in the second 20 minutes of play, and 14 turnovers.
After the game, head coach Johnny Dawkins praised his seniors as they came through and helped them to the win. He was also quick to praise the Beavers as he said they played "a hard-fought game" and that OSU "make(s) you work for everything you get." Coach Robinson, although disappointed, was proud of his team, saying "these are the same guys...who went 0-18 in this league…[that] they did it without any additional help should be duly noted."
Next up for Stanford is the Washington Huskies in the Pac-10 Quarterfinals
tomorrow afternoon at 2:30pm. The #1 seeded Huskies defeated Stanford in
two tough games this season, an 84-83 barnburner in Seattle and a 75-68 loss at
Maples, so the Cardinal know they can compete with the Huskies. How they
will fare after a tough game is anyone's guess, but the trio of Dawkins, Fields,
and Goods feel like anything can happen tomorrow. Goods said that to beat
the Huskies, the Cardinal will have to "box out," "rebound," "take care of the
ball," and stay away from "mindless turnovers." It sounds like a good game
plan, so now all Stanford has to do is execute it tomorrow to advance in
the conference tourney as they try to beat the odds one more time.
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