By Alexandra Evans
PALO ALTO—The Stanford Cardinal Men’s Basketball team (11-8 overall, 5-1 in the Pac-12) returned home from a road trip across the state of Washington with two straight wins (their first road sweep since 2010) under their belt. On Wednesday evening, they faced the Arizona State Sun Devils (14-4 overall, 2-4 in the Pac-12) at Maples Pavilion.
Dorian Pickens made the first basket for the Cardinal and, within minutes, the first three-pointer of the match, both of which helped Stanford hit the ground running. The Cardinal managed to keep a lead over the Sun Devils for the whole the opening period, even within just one or two points.
An aggressive block from Stanford’s Josh Sharma kept ASU from tying the score with just over two minutes left in the first half, though he was later fouled, allowing ASU’s Romello White to score two free throws and tie the game 32-32. Reid Travis put up a three-pointer for Stanford, then Remy Martin for ASU, tying the score again. With 39 seconds left, Daejon Davis made a jumper to give the Cardinal a two-point lead (37-35) at halftime.
At the end of the first half, Pickens led the Cardinal with 10 points, and Travis had nine points and five rebounds. Oscar da Silva had six points, comprised of two three-pointers. White put up 10 points for the Sun Devils, leading the team after 20 minutes, and Martin added nine.
The Sun Devils caught up within two minutes, trailing only by two points (40-38), before Travis brought the Cardinal up to a seven-point lead with a three-pointer and a layup. Pickens chimed in and added a three-pointer, and Sharma dunked twice, and then the Cardinal exceeded the Sun Devils by the double digits (56-43). Sharma also dunked one of Pickens’ missed jumpers, eliciting an explosively enthusiastic reaction from both the bench and the stands.
ASU began trailing Stanford by single digits once again with 6:21 left in the match, when Mickey Mitchell got a layup. They trailed only by two points with four minutes remaining, courtesy of the Sun Devils’ leader in points, Tra Holder, who put up a three for his team.
After a nerve-wracking final four minutes, Stanford regained their multi-point lead and upset the #16-ranked ASU by nine points (86-77).
Pickens led the Cardinal in points with 19, and Travis in rebounds with 10. White put up 19 points to lead the Sun Devils, and Mitchell made the most rebounds with seven.
The Stanford Cardinal are back at Maples Pavilion on Saturday to face the Arizona Wildcats at 1:00 p.m.