Neither team led by more than five for the first 30 minutes, Fields scored only five points during that timeframe, and Stanford led just 50-48 with 8:33 left in Corvallis, Ore. But, by then, Fields had finally heated up, so when the Card clamped down hard on defense, the visitors were able to put the clamps on Oregon State.
Pushing the lead to 52-48 was a lay-up by Jack Trotter, whose 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting represented his second straight double-digit game. Then, Oregon State's Calvin Haynes missed a jumper, as the Beavers finished shooting just 41 percent overall (22-of-54) and 27 percent (4-of-15) deep.
Rebouding was Jeremy Green, who scored 15 points on the afternoon on 5-of-10 three-point shooting. But it was jumpers from Gabriel Harris and, following a Beaver missed three, Fields that pushed Stanford's lead to 56-48 with 5:26 to go. The Beavers got no closer than six the rest of the way, as Stanford made all four of its free throws down the stretch and 10-of-13 (77 percent) on the contest to ensure an uneventful finish.
A major reason Stanford did not struggle on the road as they have throughout the season was that they did not struggle shooting on the road, as they have throughout the season. Stanford made 48 percent (23-of-48) of its shots and 50 percent (9-of-18) of its threes, so in a game in which the two teams were about even in rebounds, turnovers and fouls, it was shooting and shooting defense that made the difference.
Indeed, Oregon State's three leading scorers, Haynes and forwards Seth Tarver and Roeland Schaftenaar, scored 39 of the Beavers' 55 points, but it took them 34 shots to do it. Backup center Joe Burton added seven off the bench for Oregon State, but no other Beaver scored more than a single bucket.
For Stanford, by contrast, nine points from Drew Shiller and seven from Jarrett Mann complemented nicely Fields, Green and Trotter's double-digit nights. In all, eight different players scored for the Card, with only Andrew Zimmermann, seeing limited time in his fourth straight game since returning from an injury, failing to find the twine.
As they have throughout the season despite a shocking lack of depth, Stanford again finished stronger than they started, with a 30-28 halftime decifit evaporating via a 37-25 second half. A major reason why: only USC (53 points, 54 points) and Oregon State (35 points) have scored fewer points in a 2010 Pac-10 game against the Card than the 55 allowed this afternoon.
Looking ahead, Stanford is 10-3 at home this season, including 10-1 in their last 11 and 5-1 against the Pac-10, so .500 finishes both overall and in the conference seem like reasonable goals for the Card, currently one game under both overall and in the league. The task will be tall as Arizona, Arizona State and Cal are three of the top four teams in the (admittedly, historically mediocre) league. Still, should the Card finish strong, they would be mathematically alive to win the Pac-10 or, more realistically, finish in the conference's upper half, in a season in which they were prognosticated to finish dead last.
Stay tuned to The Bootleg as we track Stanford's stretch run through the regular season, conference tournament and potential postseason tournament as the Card look to build upon their first road wins of the year.
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