Stanford Finally Gets Road Monkey Off Back

Senior Writer Andy Drukarev provides the Bootleg faithful a look at the game flow, stats, and facts after Stanford was finally able to rope in a road victory, defeating the Oregon Ducks 72-65 on Thursday evening. See how Stanford used a second half run that ultimately was the difference in tonight's ball game, along with a slew of quotes from Landry Fields and head coach Johnny Dawkins.

It wasn't easy, but the 2009-2010 Stanford men's basketball team finally got its first road win of the season. The Cardinal went on a 17-2 run midway through the second half and held on late for a 72-65 victory over the host Oregon Ducks in the team's final game at McArthur Court in Eugene.

With the win, Stanford moved to 12-14 overall and 6-8 in conference play, while Oregon dropped to 12-13 and 4-9 in the Pac-10.

"Any kind of win in Pac-10 feels great but to get one on the road is special because they're tough to come by and everybody does a great job of protecting their home court," Stanford head coach Johnny Dawkins said. "So I'm really proud of our guys for the effort."

As usual, Fields led the Cardinal scoring attack with 21 points on 7-14 shooting while playing all 40 minutes. But when Oregon began to double team Stanford's senior leader in the second half, guard Jeremy Green stepped up to fill the void.

After a scoreless first half, Green scored 18 points in the second, going 10-10 from the line and keying the decisive run that stretched a 37-32 Stanford halftime lead to 59-43 advantage with a little over nine minutes left in the game.

"He's a terrific scorer," Dawkins said of Green. "He can get going and to his credit he did at the free throw line tonight. It was one of those games where he had to figure out a way to contribute. You're not always going to be able to have your jump shots, your pull-ups, or things of that nature, and you have to find other ways. He was able to get fouled, go to the line and still make a positive contribution to his team."

After Oregon had trimmed the Stanford's lead to 42-41 with 14:21 left in the ballgame, Green triggered the Cardinal onslaught. The sophomore from Texas first drained a deep three pointer from several feet beyond the arc then proceeded to make six consecutive free throws before knocking down another deep jumper to give the Cardinal a 55-43 lead. Jack Trotter added a pair of inside shots to extend Stanford's margin to 16.

But it wasn't Green's hot shooting or Trotter's inside toughness that keyed the run – the Cardinal defense clamped down for the first time all night and held the Ducks scoreless for more than five minutes of game action.

"I thought during that run our guys really locked in defensively," Dawkins said. "We had come out of halftime talking about what we needed to do to win and we thought the first five minutes really being solid defensively would go a long way."

Stanford stretched its lead to 59-43 with 9:07 left in the game as a rare smattering of boos from the 7,703 green and yellow clad fans in attendance rained down on the home team.

But just when Cardinal faithful thought it was safe to breath a sigh of relief and crack open a bottle of champagne to celebrate the road win, the Ducks came quacking back.

Led in part by a career high 15 points from former Stanford recruit and Duck freshman forward E.J. Singler, the Oregon cut the Cardinal lead to four inside with less than one minute remaining before Fields and Green hit key free throws down the stretch to close the game out.

Dawkins was obviously proud of his team following a gutsy victory at what Fields called "probably one of the hardest places to play in the Pac-10." For once, Stanford executed its fundamentals down the stretch, playing sound team defense, hustling to loose balls, and making key free throws down when the pressure was on.

"Whether its inbounding the ball, getting a loose ball, a rebound, making free throws or just taking care of the ball, you have to do all of those things down the stretch to be able to win," Dawkins said. "Tonight we did that for the most part well and that's what gave us the opportunity to win the game."

For the contest, Stanford shot 46% from the floor, 50% on 9/18 shooting from beyond arc, and forced 16 Oregon turnovers. The most telling stat of the game, though, was 19/23 – the Cardinal's conversion rate from the free throw line.

Aside from point guard Jarrett Mann, who once again struggled from the charity stripe shooting 2-6, the Cardinal was literally perfect on the night.

"That was big," Fields said. "An adjustment from last game."

But out of all the good vibes the Cardinal will walk away from tonight's game carrying, the play of Shiller and Trotter might be the biggest positives.

The pair supplied some much needed secondary scoring, with Trotter tying a career high of 14 points and Shiller adding 12.

"I like to see more guys in double figures," Dawkins said. "We had some guys really step up."

Dawkins went out of his way to single the pair for their contributions.

"I thought Drew Shiller really did a great job for us in the first half but also defensively was all over the place," Dawkins said. "I also thought Jack Trotter really gave us a lift inside in the post, so I was real proud of both those guys giving good contributions."

With the win and season sweep of the Oregon, Stanford improved to 88-44 all time against the Ducks. When the Cardinal fly up to Eugene to take on the Ducks next season, the teams will battle in the new Matthew Knight Arena set to open in time for the start of the 2010-11 campaign.

After a day off Friday, the Cardinal will make the short bus ride to Corvallis to take on the Oregon State Beavers at noon. The game will be televised on Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area in high definition.

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