Stanford has missed two shots, Oregon has a miss and a turnover to its name, and we’re just a minute into the second half. That is a fast pace! E.J. Singler hits a three for Oregon, surprisingly, the Ducks’ first of the game, but Powell responds with an old-fashioned three-point play. That he got the blocking call and that he got the bucket to count are two favorable interpretations you probably won’t see on a road court.
Powell spins and gets back to the line for two. He has 12 rebounds and eight points after splitting the pair. Oregon gets two offensive rebounds, but Singler is whistled for a charge on the third-chance attempt, his third foul. Oregon now has two assists to 12 turnovers(!) as Powell gives himself a double-double with a baby hook. Stanford leads 41-25, their largest margin of the game. Per Bill Walton, Johnny Dawkins says this is the best squad he has had. They’ll only be better next year, with Gabe Harris the only senior on the roster and the monster six-man class rising seniors. Right now, though, this group is playing like Dawkins’ best.
USC comes back from 15 down to get past UCLA in overtime, in Pauley Pavilion. Maybe that road loss to the Trojans wasn’t as bad as we thought. As is, the upset should help the Trojans as they try to climb into the top 100 in the RPI (important for Stanford come NCAA Tourney selection time).
16-minute mark: Stanford 41, Oregon 25
Oregon shows zone as Powell misses a hook down low, but then Huestis swallows up an Oregon driver, Powell has rebound No. 13, and Chasson Randle has a three. Absolute B.S. call on Oregon off the ball for being tied up with Josh Huestis – Walton goes so far as to outright say that this league needs better officials – but it’s Stanford ball again, immediately after the Randle three. This time it’s catch, shoot and fill for Aaron Bright, as Stanford suddenly leads 47-25 after a 12-0 run and Oregon needs another timeout.
Gage nearly brings the roof down with a third straight three after an Oregon offensive foul, but instead it’s an Oregon three and Powell answering with two free throws. Oregon splits a pair at the line and Bright has a no-no-no-yes attempt on an off-balance long two, which is the worst shot in the world, until it drops. Bright responds with yet another three (he’s 3-of-3 deep tonight) and Stanford leads by 25, 23 after an Oregon layup.
12-minute mark: Stanford 54, Oregon 31
Oregon State and Cal go at it tomorrow, which means Stanford will have an extra day of rest before the Sunday tip. It will be the same setup next week when Arizona State has a Thursday game versus Cal but we get Arizona on Wednesday, before squaring next Saturday with the Sun Devils. We will also get an extra day of rest before catching Utah on a Sunday in March. The league needs to keep an eye on the scheduling, because having to go on one less day than your opponents is an unfair competitive disadvantage. And if certain teams are more likely to get the national broadcasts on Wednesdays or Thursdays, it won’t be randomly distributed.
Walton says every parent wants their child to attend Stanford, and raved about our women’s basketball team for, literally, several minutes. Then Huestis again throws down a tip dunk, and Stanford is doing exactly what they need to, namely choking the life out of this one. Stanford leads 59-38 with 8:51 left. Oregon just hit a three and is starting to heat up, but it is too little, too late.
Looking ahead, Oregon State is just 1-6 in conference and has an overtime loss to Towson (stat man KenPom’s No. 188) to their name, though they did fall by just six to Kansas in Kansas City. Pac-12 opponents are making 53 percent of twos against the Beavers, who are somewhat credible offensively but just awful at the other end of the court, so perhaps Stanford’s hot shooting continues at least another game.
Eight-minute mark: Stanford 61, Oregon 38
It’s been a multi-headed attack, as four Cardinal have over nine points. (Randle – 13, Bright – 12, Powell – 12, Huestis – 9). Stanford has 21 points off turnovers to Oregon’s two, on the strength of eight steals and three Josh Huestis blocks. The Cardinal remain +3 in rebounds, so Randle’s six turnovers are just about the only negative on the night. Player of the game is undoubtedly Josh Huestis, with 11 points, 11 rebounds, three blocks and two steals in 25 minutes. 5-of-8 shooting to boot.
It’s 64-44 Card before Huestis throws down yet another dunk and draws a foul. Put him at 14 points and the lead at 23. Oregon just committed their 20th turnover, and if they can’t figure something out with their starting freshman point guard on the bench, they’re not going to beat Cal this weekend.
Dwight Powell fouls out to a standing ovation. Huestis and Gage each have four fouls apiece. I think it’s important to note that it’s when Stanford does make mistakes – they’ve almost fouled out three bigs and have 14 turnovers to 11 assists – they actually may be at their best, because they are playing loose and at a faster pace.
Four-minute mark: Stanford 69, Oregon 48
Again, a shout out to ESPNU’s Unite after these weeknight ESPNU games. Any show that has fake (and hilarious) Manti Te’o voicemails is golden in my book. We’re chanting “Rose Bowl”. Love it! Andy Brown with a deuce, Oregon answers and Stanford empties the bench. It’s Stanford’s first win against a top-10 team since 2007 (and first time hosting a top-10 team since 2009, thanks Pac-12).
Robbie Lemons makes the most of his time by knocking down a three. Lemons is now north of 37 percent on 31 three-point attempts on the season. Dude can shoot. Grant Verhooven hits a baseline J as Huestis is doing a dance on the bench, Randle is pulling on the front of his jersey to showcase the “Stanford”, and the fans sing “Na na na na, hey, hey, hey, goodbye.”
Final: Stanford 76, Oregon 52
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