Cardinal Fall Short As Huskies Run Away Late

Men's Hoops Editor Ray Salloom provides the Bootleg faithful a look at the game flow, stats, quotes, and facts after Stanford fell short in their quest for a Pac-10 Tournament crown, losing to the Washington Huskies 85-73 in the quarterfinals at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The Stanford Cardinal came into their Pac-10 Conference Quarterfinal matchup looking for an upset of the top-seeded Washington Huskies, a team that had defeated Stanford twice, but in closely played games in both instances. The Cardinal played with the Huskies for most of the game, but just could not get over the hump as the Huskies took advantage of the drained Cardinal in the second half, defeating Stanford by a final score of 85-73. Stanford's record falls to 18-13 on the season while Washington moves to 25-7 and next faces Arizona State in the Pac-10 Semifinals.

The game didn't get off exactly the start Stanford wanted as Josh Owens missed hard inside and Justin Dentmon hit a right wing three off the transition opportunity, but the Cardinal found their rhythm, running eight in a row over a 2:07 span to take an 8-3 lead with just over 17 minutes remaining in the first half. Some helter-skelter shooting by the Cardinal, however, allowed Washington to get back in the game, eventually getting all the way back to a 14-12 lead after a Justin Holiday jumper off a Quincy Pondexter assist.

On the next possession, though, Stanford got the lead back after Anthony Goods drove inside and got the hoop and the harm. Fields then made a tremendous steal off an inbounds throw-in, leading to a right wing three-pointer by Kenny Brown, giving Stanford back a four-point lead, 18-14, with 9:05 left in the half. Jon Brockman would get those four points back on a layup and two free throws to tie it back up. Both teams proceeded to battle, with hard defense and tough shots sprayed throughout the remainder of the period. A Landry Fields tip-in of a Lawrence Hill miss knotted the game up again at 27-27 with just under four minutes to go in the first stanza, but that would be the last time Stanford would be tied with the Huskies as the two teams engaged in a shooting war with Elston Turner hitting three long balls, the last giving the Huskies a brief 38-32 lead with six ticks left. Stanford, though, was not done as Kenny Brown was able to launch a long three-pointer from the right side just before the buzzer to cut the lead down to three, 38-35, as the teams went into the locker room.

As a team, Stanford shot 38% from the field, was 3-8 from the three-point line, and made six of eight free throws. Washington made just 35% of their shots from the field, but was 4-8 from beyond the arc and was 8-9 from the charity stripe. Both teams were in a giving/stealing mood with the ball as Stanford had 10 turnovers, while Washington one-upped them, making 11 miscues. The Huskies outrebounded the Cardinal 26-21, including 7-3 on the offensive end. Both teams, though, had just six second chance points. The Huskies had a 16-12 edge inside, but the Cardinal scored 10 points off turnovers to eight for Washington.

Individually, Stanford was led by Fields' 13 points and eight rebounds on 6-10 shooting. Goods was next in line with seven, but he got those points on just two of six shots. Brown had six off the bench, followed by five from Jeremy Green. Washington was led by Brockman and Turner, who netted nine each for the Huskies. Dentmon scored eight on 3-8 shooting, while no one else on the team had more than four points.

As the second half started, the Cardinal looked to build on the momentum they seemed to get after Brown's last second three-pointer. After a Goods three-pointer that cut the lead to one, Fields and Goods combined for two more hoops squeezed around an Isaiah Thomas layup to tie the game back up at 43. Unfortunately, Washington turned on the afterburners, running off seven points in a row while limiting the Cardinal to one shot on each possession to take their biggest lead of the game, 50-43, with 15:55 to go in the game. A Hill layup cut the lead to six, but a 7-2 run by the Huskies, capped off by a transition bucket by Venoy Overton extended the lead to double-digits, 59-48, with 12:46 left in the game. Goods scored on an old-fashioned three-point play and Owens made a steal on the next possession, but a Fields jumper to just right of the basket wouldn't go in, taking away the brief momentum Stanford seemed to grab out of a timeout. Two Brockman free throws with 9:44 pushed the lead back up to 11, but a right side three-pointer by Green and a Goods jumper from the left cut the lead down to five, 69-64.

Thomas, though, made a running floater in the lane to stop the Cardinal momentum. The Cardinal had a couple of looks on their next two possessions, but couldn't find the hoop, leaving Washington up seven, 73-66, with 5:41 remaining in the game. Could Stanford find one more run in them to keep their Pac-10 Tournament Title dreams alive? Goods and Dentmon traded points before an Overton free throw and a Brockman layup inside, sandwiched between several long misses by the Cardinal, with under four minutes to go gave the Huskies back a 10-point lead, 78-68, with under four minutes to go. The Cardinal tried in vain to make a comeback, but several three-pointers became desperate airballs and there was not enough offense or juice left in the tank, finalizing the fate of the Cardinal on this day.

As a team, Stanford finished the contest shooting 36% from the field, including just 33% after the break. The Cardinal also was off the mark from beyond the arc, making just eight of 28 attempts, including 5-20 in the second half. Stanford did finish the game 13-16 at the free throw line. Washington shot 46% for the game, but really scorched the nets in the second half, making 61% of their attempts, almost all from inside the three-point line. The Huskies made 5-9 from beyond the arc and was 20-25 from the charity stripe. Washington outrebounded Stanford by a 48-39 margin, despite the Cardinal edging the Huskies on the offensive glass, 12-11. The turnovers continued in the second half as Washington committed 21 miscues while Stanford finished with 18. Stanford dished out 14 assists, while Washington tallied 10. While the battle of the paint was close in the first half, UW blew out the Cardinal in the second stanza and finished the afternoon with a 46-22 margin.

Individually, Stanford was led by Goods' 26 points, 19 of those coming in the second half, on 8-17 shooting and 9-9 from the free throw line. Fields was next in line with 16, but he scored only three after the break. Green and Brown combined for 24 off the bench as they made 8-13 from the field. Johnson and Hill, however, were both off the mark, combining for a disappointing 3-20 performance from the floor, including going 0-6 from beyond the arc in the loss. Washington's leading scorer was Brockman, who finished the game with 20 points on 6-12 shooting, 8-9 from the line. Thomas, despite first half foul trouble, had 14. Pondexter, who was scoreless in the first half, tallied 11, while Dentmon had 10 for the victorious Huskies.

After the game, head coach Johnny Dawkins expressed disappointment with the outcome, but noted that he was really "proud of his guys" as they "competed the entire night." In regards to postseason play, Fields remarked that the "NCAA is every team's goal, but our team would love to keep playing." Goods summed up the afternoon best as he said with a soft voice that it was "frustrating to fall short," but that the loss "came down to shot selection" and that the team "resorted to the three too early" in a game which was still within single digits late in the second half. The Cardinal now wait to see if they do get to keep playing this season, hoping for word from either the NIT, CBI, or CollegeInsider.com Tournament that their season isn't quite over yet. Stay tuned to the Bootleg for details as they emerge in the coming days…


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