In Stanford's 76-68 loss to Arizona on Thursday evening, the Cardinal managed to allow the Wildcats to shoot just 33% from the field, but gave up 19 offensive rebounds and committed 18 turnovers in a tough defeat at the McKale Center. On Saturday afternoon in Tempe, the Cardinal's defense was nowhere near as effective as it was versus the Wildcats, the offense was equally as dismal, and the team fell behind the home squad faster than Usain Bolt's opponents in the 100-meter dash. ASU sprinted out to a 32-point lead at the half and a furious second half rally wasn't quite enough as the Cardinal dropped to below .500 again in an 88-70 defeat at the hands of the Sun Devils in Tempe, Arizona. Arizona State moves to 15-7, 5-4 in Pac-10 play, while Stanford drops to 10-11, 4-5 in conference action.
Ty Abbott set the tone early, hitting three long balls in the first 3:10 of the game, giving ASU an early 9-2 lead. Another three-pointer, this time by Rihards Kuksiks, prompted head coach Johnny Dawkins to call an early 30-second timeout, which seemed to help stem the tie for a few minutes. A dunk by Jack Trotter closed the deficit to nine at 20-11 with 13:18 to go, but Arizona State then hit everything in sight, running off 21 points in a row in a 3:11 stretch and turning a semi-tight contest into an absolute blowout. The Cardinal would fall behind by as many as 37 in the first half before finishing the first 20 minutes down 54-22 to the host Sun Devils.
Stanford shot 25% from the floor in the first half, including a disastrous 0-11 from the three-point line. The Cardinal were perfect at the free throw line, 6-6, but that did little to cut into the ASU advantage. Arizona State completed the first half of play making 66% of their field goals, including 10-18 (56%) from beyond the arc, while making 2-3 (67%) at the charity stripe. ASU held a slim 18-17 rebounding advantage in the first stanza, with the Cardinal outdoing them on the offensive glass 7-1 and 8-0 in second chance points. Arizona State had amassed a mind-boggling 19 assists in the first half, getting all of them on their first 19 made field goals of the game, while turning the ball over just five times. On the other side, Stanford tallied just six assists and gave away nine turnovers, most of them through bad passes during the Sun Devils devastating run.
Landry Fields led the way for Stanford with 12 points on 3-9 shooting. He was followed by Trotter's six, while second-leading scorer Jeremy Green scored just two points on 1-8 shooting, but did grab four rebounds, the high for the team at the break. Arizona State was led by Abbott's 22 points and six rebounds on 8-9 shooting from the floor, including a pristine 6-6 from beyond the arc. Trent Lockett was next in line for the Solar Satans with 10 points and eight assists. Teammate Derek Glasser distributed seven assists in the first 20 minutes of play.
Most of the 9,406 in attendance at Wells Fargo Arena were left wondering going into the second half of play if this would be their biggest blowout in years, perhaps even mimicking Stanford's own demolition of a certain team from Westwood in 1997 in Palo Alto. The Cardinal, though to their credit, came out and played the Sun Devils with heart and vigor, cutting the lead by a third in the first 6:39 in play, bringing the visitors within 62-39 after a Green layup. Arizona State would boost the lead back up to 28 on two occasions, the last after two free throws by Lockett at the 9:35 mark, before Stanford would make another run at the team from Tempe.
Back-to-back three-pointers by Green and Drew Shiller within a minute of each other edged the lead down to 22. Two Shiller steals and subsequent layins by Jarrett Mann and Fields brought the advantage further down to 16, 73-57, before two Mann freebies with 3:36 to go completed a 24-8 streak by Stanford, bringing the Cardinal within 12, 77-65. Another steal by Mann gave the Cardinal more hope, but Green missed a three-pointer, Glasser converted two free throws, and Stanford would get no closer than a dozen as ASU put the game away with free throws down the final stretch.
Stanford finished the contest shooting 35%, including just 21% of their three-point field goals (6-28). The Cardinal, though, did make 16-20 from the free throw line, finishing the game at 80%. Arizona State made only 39% of their field goals in the second half, but still completed the contest at 56% from the floor. The Sun Devils made 48% of their attempts from beyond the arc and 77% (20-26) of their free throws. Stanford outrebounded Arizona State 37-35, including 16-3 on the offensive glass, giving them an 18-4 advantage in second chance points. The visitors dished out 16 assists and turned the ball over 13 times, while ASU finished with 23 assists (just four in the second half) and 13 turnovers.
Fields finished the game as Stanford's top scorer with 22 points, going 7-18 from the floor and 8-9 at the free throw line. Green had 18 of his 20 in the second stanza on 7-21 shooting, while Mann was the only other player in double-digits with 10. Abbott had a double-double for ASU, getting 29 points and 12 rebounds on 11-14 shooting from the floor. Lockett scored 17, Kuksiks netted 14, and Glasser had 12 points and 10 assists on the afternoon.
Stanford will attempt to get a road win next week as they travel to Los
Angeles to take on UCLA and USC to open up the second half of Pac-10 conference
play. The Cardinal open up the second round of action by taking on Ben Howland and the UCLA Bruins on Thursday night at 7:30pm at Pauley
Are you fully subscribed to The Bootleg? If not, then you are missing out on all the top Cardinal coverage we provide daily on our award-winning website. Sign up today for the biggest and best in Stanford sports coverage with TheBootleg.com (sign-up)!