Photo credit: gostanford.com
By Joey Friedman
PALO ALTO, Calif.—Stanford came off a disappointing the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament (during which they could only pull off a single win) to face the Portland State Vikings on Wednesday Night at Maples Pavilion. The Cardinal beat the Vikings by a final score of 79-67.
Stanford’s return to their home court got off to a slow start; despite how they held Portland State scoreless of the first four minutes, their own offense was slow to act. The Vikings quickly regained momentum and jumped out to a 14-10 lead with 12 minutes left to play in the first half. Momentum swung back the Cardinal’s way out of a timeout with a Lukas Kisunas layup, Cormac Ryan three-pointer, and Jaiden Delaire dunk on consecutive possessions to give Stanford a 17-14 lead.
With 5 minutes left in the half, Stanford would grind out a 7 point lead with the score 30-23 thanks to some scrappy basketball from bench players of the likes of Kodye Pugh and Lukas Kisunas. However, the Vikings would go on a 12-2 run to crawl back to a three-point lead with a minute left. Viking junior guard Michael Nuga did most of the damage; He would finish the first half with 17 points. Nobody else on either team would finish with more than seven. The Vikings took a 35-34 lead to the locker room at the break.
Stanford and Portland State shot 46% and 34% from the field, respectively, in the first half. In the same time frame, both teams combined to shoot 3-24 from beyond the arc, while Stanford was out-rebounded 28-16 overall (specifically 14-13 on their own defensive boards). Stanford turned the ball over 11 times, while PSU did so 5 times. KZ Okpala, Stanford’s team leader in both minutes and points per game this, only received 5 minutes of action in the first half, despite making the expected appearance in the starting lineup.
Stanford would start the second half reenergized and they would jump to a 7-point lead and an 8-0 run with the starting lineup of Cormac Ryan, Daejon Davis, KZ Okpala, Oscar da Silva, and Bryce Wills leading the way. The Vikings tied the game at 46 points each when a free throw fell with just over 11 minutes to play, but Stanford would inch their way forward, eventually edging out an eight-point advantage over the next 3 minutes. At the five minute mark, Vikings’ junior forward Sal Nuhu and Stanford traded contested slam dunks to settle the score at 63-53. Stanford’s lead lasted to a 79-67 final.
For the Cardinal, sophomore Oscar da Silva finished with 12 points while freshman Bryce Wills had a career-high 10 points. Jaiden Delaire and Josh Sharma each finished with 9. Josh Sharma also had 7 rebounds.
For the Vikings, Michael Nuga finished with 19 points and 9 rebounds, Sal Nuhu had a double-double of 15 points and 14 rebounds, and Holland Woods had 18 points and 5 assists.
Stanford finished with a 54% field goal percentage, they shot 2-16 from beyond the arc, turned the ball over 9 times, collected 36 rebounds, and blocked 9 shots. Portland State finished by shooting 32% from the field and shooting 2-24 from beyond the arc. They also had 9 turnovers and 51 rebounds.
Stanford will be back in action on the road on December 1st against the #2 Kansas Jayhawks. It will be their third time playing against a ranked opponent thus far in the non-conference schedule. They are 0-2 against ranked opponents this season.
Portland State will face Portland Bible at home on December 1st.